Historic Images

Center of the Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Timothy O'Sullivan, 1862.
Panoramic view from the center of the battlefield of Cedar Mountain. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. This iconic image of the battlefield is cropped and edited in photoshop. Like most of these historic images, the original format was a stereoscopic view. I separated the two images into right and left, and then photo-merged them in photoshop. This expanded the field of view a little bit on both the right and left sides of the image. It reveals amazing detail. Click to view larger in a new tab.
Panoramic view from center of Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.  Close up view of the left side of the image.  The Rev. Phillip Slaughter home and the road leading up to it can be seen at the top center.  Click to view larger in a new tab.
Close up view of the image, edited in photoshop to bring out some additional detail.  The Rev. Phillip Slaughter’s home on Cedar Mtn. is pictured with army tents pitched in the front yard.  Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.
Rev. Philip Slaughter House
The Reverend Philip Slaughter House.  Some soldiers called the battle “Slaughter Mountain,” an appropriate alternative given the bloody fighting that occurred near the home.
Detail of Timothy O'Sullivan 1862 view of the center of Cedar Mountain Battlefield.
Detail of the Center of Cedar Mountain Battlefield by Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. If you look very closely you can see a soldier, with some reading material, leaning against the tree directly to the right of the soldier standing near the tent. Click to view in a new tab.
10th Maine, graves at Cedar Mtn. Timothy O'Sullivan, 1862.
Cedar Mountain, Va.  Union Graves on the Battlefield. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. Research by Nick Picerno believes that most of the men in this photo are the same 10th Maine men in another photo.  Mike Block’s research validates his assessment. They are (l. to r.) Col. James Fillebrown, Unknown, Capt. James Black, Capt. William Knowlton, Band Master Daniel Chandler and Asst. Surgeon Josiah Day.  Click the image to view in a new tab.
10th Maine, Cedar Mountain Graves. Timothy O'Sullivan Photo, 1862.
This is a cropped detail of the above image. For scale note the soldier in the distance standing between Col. Fillebrown on the left, and the man in the center. On the right is Captain James Black. Tim O’Sullivan. 1862. Click to view larger in a new tab.
10th Maine, Cedar Mtn. Battlefield, Graves.
Detail of the left side of the image. Cedar Mt. Va. Union Graves on the Battlefield. Tim O’Sullivan. 1862. (l. to r.) Capt. William Knowlton, Band Master Daniel Chandler and Asst. Surgeon Josiah Day.
10th Maine Officers, Cedar Mtn. Battlefield. 1862.
Cedar Mountain Battlefield. Officers of the 10th Maine Regt. on the battlefield. Left to right: Captain James Black, Assistant Surgeon Josiah Day, Colonel James Fillebrown, Captain William Knowlton, Band-Master Daniel Chandler. Two years later, a few days before the 3rd Battle of Winchester, Sept. 19, 1864, now, Major William Knowlton, of the 29th Maine, would have a premonition of death. His premonition came true and he was killed during the battle.
The title of this image is “Cedar Mountan, Va. Confederate Field Hospital. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. The well on the left side of the photo can be found today if you know where to look. As you turn from route 15 onto General Winder Road, to visit the battlefield, you will pass a capped well with a concrete cap on the left side of the drive a short distance from the intersection. However, DO NOT trespass on the property or even the grass bordering the property. If you are interested in seeing it, just drive slowly past or view it from the preserved property along the battlefield trail. Trespassing will cause problems for FCMB.
Confederate Field Hospital, Cedar Mtn. Va. Timothy O'Sullivan, 1862
Cedar Mt. Va. A Confederate Field Hospital. I’ve cleaned up the stereoscopic image above and added some contrast. Click to view larger in a new tab.
Confederate Field Hospital, Cedar Mtn., Va. Timothy O'Sullivan, 1862
Closeup detail of the above image. Click to view larger.
Culpeper, Virginia, August, 1862. Timothy O’Sullivan. This image is full of all sorts of detail. I cleaned it up in photoshop and made a few detail views, below.
Image detail. Culpeper Courthouse, Va. August, 1862. Timothy O'Sullivan.
This is a close up view of the left side of the photograph above. Click to view larger in a new tab.
Detail. Culpeper Courthouse, VA. August 1862. Timothy O'Sullivan.
Detail of the right side of the image. Click to view larger in a new tab.
Detail, Culpeper Courthouse, VA. Timothy O'Sullivan, August, 1862.
Detail of the image above. You can see troops riding the locomotive in the center of the image. The Court-house is visible toward the right side. Today’s courthouse has been relocated from the original location pictured. Click to view larger in a new tab.
Cedar Mountain, Va. Federal battery fording a tributary of the Rappahannock on the day of the battle. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. I separated out the sides of this stereograph image and merged them into the one image below. Then I cleaned up some of the dust and scratches. I favored the panel on the right.
Timothy O'Sullivan photo, Federal Artillery
Cedar Mountain. Va. Federal battery fording a tributary of the Rappahannock on the day of the battle. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. The two sides of the image above have been separated, merged and cropped, then cleaned up a bit, to remove some of the dust and scratches so prevalent in these historic glass plate negatives. For a time I thought this photograph was taken where Cedar Run crosses the Old Orange Road, which is still extant. But detailed close ups, of the background horizen, show some structures and possible tents. I’m not so sure now where this was taken as the road network through the battlefield has changed considerably since 1862. The right and left sides of the original stereograph were separated and then merged to come up with this single image with extended edges, right & left.
Cedar Mt. Va. Federal battery fording a tributary of the Rappahannock on the day of the battle. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862. This detail of the image above shows some structures and possibly tents on the battlefield just over the horizon.
As the above image shows some Federal Artillery on the battlefield, lets look at some of the war sketches depicting the same, and other actions. This drawing is titled “Knapps Pennsylvania Battery in action, at Cedar Mountain.” This sketch by artist/war correspondent Edwin Forbes shows Captain Joseph Knap’s Pennsylvania Light Artillery, Battery E in action during the battle. The battery was posted about where Mitchell’s Station Road intersects modern Route 15. Forbes mispelled Knap’s name in the title.

Forbes wrote: Nothing to alarm a spectator took place until early in the afternoon. I was then watching some soldiers who were boiling green corn in a large iron boiler that they had obtained from a farmer when I was suddenly startled by a rattle of musketry in front. I ran towards my horse, which was tied to a fence near by, and hastily mounting rode forward to the crest of the ridge on which Knapp’s battery was posted, and halted near it. I soon realized that a battle had begun. The Confederates were posted non a ridge parallel to the one occupied by our forces, their position being rapidly developed by the opening fire of their guns. –Quote from Voices of the Civil War; Second Manassas; Time/Life; p. 34.
Edwin Forbes Sketch of the Battle
“Charge of Union Troops of the left flank of the army commanded by Gen’l Stonewall Jackson at Cedar Mt., Edwin.” Artist Edwin Forbes sketched this picture of what is supposed to depict the attack of Gen’l. Samuel Crawford’s Brigade upon the weak left flank of Stonewall Jackson’s line. This is a very large image. I reduced it by 70% for our post but if you click on the image you will still be able to view a very large file. All these images are available at the Library of Congress Digital Collections website, in the “prints and photographs” collection.
This particular file is not nearly as large as the original file of the image above. This sketch is titled ” The Battle at Cedar Mountain. Night at the hospitals. Arrival of General McDowell’s Corps.” I contacted the Library of Congress to obtain the key to artist Edwin Forbes Sketch. They replied with the following information. “1. Blue Ridge Mountains. 2. Turnpike. 3. Confederate battery firing on the retreating Union forces. 4. Thompson’s Union Battery replying. 5. Old farm house used as a Union hospital. Wounded lying on the ground. 6. McDowell’s Corps arrived after a forced march from Culpeper Court House. 7. General Pope’s Headquarters.” To expand upon this, the buildings in the foreground we believe, is Colvin’s Tavern. If Thompson’s battery is engaged. the Confederate Battery must be William Pegram’s. The Nalle House was Pope’s Headquarters at this point in the battle. Colvin’s Tavern was mentioned in many Federal Accounts of the battle. It no longer stands, but its original location is known. The Nalle house still stands, it is called Val Verde, and can be seen when driving south along modern route 15.
This photo of “The Nalle House, about 1896” was found in the local history room of the Culpeper Library. The book it is taken from is titled “Tales of Old Culpeper, Virginia” by William Nalle, Colonel of Cavalry, United States Army, Retired, 1974. General Pope used this home as his headquarters when he arrived on the battlefield the night of August 9th. The interior of the house was used an an operating room for wounded soldiers. The author recounts these stories and more in this reminiscence of his grandmother’s home.
The title of this image is “Cedar Mt. Va Battlefield viewed from the West.” Timothy O’Sullivan 1862. I worked extensively with the details in this image.
Cedar Mt. Va Battlefield viewed from the West. Timothy O’Sullivan 1862. This is the right side of the stereograph image cleaned up in photoshop and cropped. In this instance the right side was in better condition than the left so a merge of the two sides was not really necessary. (I tried it & the results were disappointing).
View West Contemporary View

I’ve often wondered where the above Library of Congress image, “View West” was taken.  The ground contours in the image are not to be found on the “preserved” part of the battlefield.  I always suspected they were taken from across highway 15, on the hill in front of the Inskeep farm offices.  There is a patch of trees upon the hill similar to the trees in the 1862 photo.

In 2023 we, Cedar Mountain historian Michael Block and myself, had a few opportunities to visit the Inskeep property, with permission.  On one of these preliminary visits, a glance from the hill top encouraged the idea that we were close to the site where the photographer stood.  A second visit, later in the year, allowed us to do a little reconnaissance.  We didn’t have a lot of time to look around.  The situation turned into a sort of parody of the old “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” television show [1963-1985] that Johnny Carson liked to poke fun of on his “Tonight Show.”  The joke was that the host of ‘Wild Kingdom’, Marlin Perkins, was never doing much, while his naturalist assistant, Jim Fowler, “Jim” was always wrestling with a lion or some such dangerous thing.

In this instance, a small farm dog was aggressively chasing Michael around the front yard of the farm house, while I scoped out the cluster of trees.  Perhaps it was a 2nd generation outcropping from the same site where Timothy O’Sullivan captured his image?  The trees were a wash.  No match.  But not far from them I found a matching horizon line, looking across route 15 to the site of the 1862 historic wheatfield.  Meanwhile the dog started to snap at Michael’s heels.  “We have to go,” he told me.  We took a quick picture and yielded the yard back to the little farm dog.

The dip in the green fields visible in the distance of the modern image, matches the dip in the field by the heads of the two soldiers standing by the tree on the right of the 1862 image.  If you cannot see it too clearly here, trust us!

The foreground contours are not an exact match, but this may be due to subtle ground changes that occurred when modern route 15 was built through the battlefield.  It is not apparent in our image but the highway does run through the middle of the snapshot.

The original Culpeper-Orange road also ran through the yard where we took the snapshot, making it a natural place for Timothy O’Sullivan to stop and grab an image of the wheatfield.  This means the soldiers in the trees are standing on ground that was charged over by Brigadier-General John White Geary’s Ohio brigade.

Cedar Mt. Va. Family group before the house in which Gen. Charles S. Winder (C.S.A.) died. Tim O’Sullivan. We are not sure where this image was taken. The building has a distinctive roof which may lead to the discovery of this location, but the original caption states this is the house in which General Charles S. Winder died. When wounded, Winder was carried from the battlefield and taken down the Culpepper-Orange road somewhere not to far off, and the speculation I was used to hearing, is that he was taken to Major’s School House. It would seem more likely to me that this image was taken closer to where most of Sullivan’s other photos were taken. Captions were not always accurate. I used to entertain the idea that this image was taken at the Hudson House, but the roof line does not match any of the buildings as far was we can see, in the other images of the Hudson House.
Timothy O'Sullivan image, "Family Group"
Cedar Mt. Va. Family group before the house in which Gen. Charles S. Winder (C.S.A.) died. Tim O’Sullivan. Here I have merged the two halves of the stereograph and cleaned it up in photoshop. There were subtle angle differences in the two sides, so I had to play a few tricks to get this image right.
Timothy O'Sullivan Photograph, "Family Group"
Cedar Mt. Va. Family group before the house in which Gen. Charles S. Winder (C.S.A.) died. Tim O’Sullivan. In this tight close up you can get a better look at the people. There is a bed showing inside the open door. Hopefully if you click the image it will link to a large file. If not, I will try to correct it at a later date. WP is not user-friendly.
house on the battlefield
The title listed for this image is Cedar Mountaun, Va. Where General Winder was killed. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.

The location of the cabin in the picture is unknown & the caption of the photo is mis-leading.  However, it is the same building as the one above, with the women sitting around a table in the yard.  Note the unique roof line of the white-washed cabin in both images.  This view is from the opposite angle of the one above. After General Winder was wounded his aide, McHenry Howard accompanied him while he was carried on a stretcher off of the battlefield.  About a mile down the road from the Crittenden Gate area where General Winder was wounded. the party stopped in the fields at the Major School House intersection.  QUOTE:  At about sundown, Howard wrote, General Winder died “so quietly that I could scarcely mark the exact time of death.” [Quote from page 377 of Robert K Krick’s book, “Stonewall Jackson At Cedar Mountain.]

The building in this photo appears to have some battle damage. The Major’s School house is too far off to have been scarred from the battle on August 9th. It is possible this is the Newman cabin that stood along Crittenden Lane, but in that case it would be the same building as the one present in the picture of the well, above.  I can’t see if that is the case or no.  So for now, the location of these buildings remains a mystery.

Here are some detail views.

Detail: Battlefield of Cedar Mountain riddled with cannon balls in which General Winder was killed. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862
Detail: Battlefield of Cedar Mountain riddled with cannon balls in which General Winder was killed. Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862

It is interesting to note, that Robert Knox Sneden, the army engineer who documented the Civil War with hundreds of watercolor sketches depicted these same un-identified buildings, attributing them to Rev. Philip Slaughter’s Farm. Snedens watercolors add more background details to the scene. He caption states the buildings were used as a hospital and that General Winder died here. Sneden likely did these pieces from a photograph. They add to the mystery. [Note: A friend sent me these low-res copies of the artwork. I cannot find them on-line so I do not know the proper attribution to make, other than stating, the Virginia Museum of History has many of Sneden’s works in their collections.-B.F.]

Image of Culpeper
Original Image Library of Congress 01070u

Here is an image I’m going to take a little time with.  There are two versions of this view, and I chose this particular one to clean up in photoshop.  The buildings were less scratched in this image.

Library of Congress Image 01070u - cleaned up in photoshop
Here is the cleaned up image.
Close up detail of the image.
Culpeper Court House, Va. Street Scene, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.

As with all of these images, there is incredible detail here.  A soldier can be seen sitting in the wagon and another soldier sitting on the porch, on the right side of the image.

Although they are blurry it looks like some young boys are standing around in the street.

close up detail
Culpeper Court House, Va. Street Scene, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.
Close up detail of the image.
Culpeper Court House, Va. Street Scene, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.

I was well into cleaning up this image when I realized a large section of the middle was blurred.  Consequently I stopped working on this image for a long while.  I would have to clean up the other version to accomplish my purposes and it would take hours to start over from the beginning.    However…

Culpeper Court House, Va. Street Scene, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.

The other version of this image, (Library of Congress image o1071u) had a little more clarity to it in the section where the first one was blurred.   So I decided to invest the time and clean up just this part of the detail of the 2nd image.

The detail is a little sharper in parts of this image as seen above.

close up detail of knapsacks
Culpeper Court House, Va. Street Scene, Timothy O’Sullivan, 1862.

You can seen the gear lined up against the fence more clearly in version 2.  It looks like knapsacks and rifles.

Here are two soldiers over by the horses.

Lastly, here is a close up of the weathervane atop the historic courthouse.  And, I would like to re-iterate as a technical note, just how clunky and difficult the wordpress editor is to use.

courthouse weathervane detail
Culpeper Court House, Va.; Weathervane detail.