Matthew Brady lecture during Battle of Gettysburg reenactments

Before I took photographs of this reenactment, I attended a presentation on Matthew Brady by someone dressed as the photographer (whose name I didn’t record).  The person mostly talked about Brady’s life, the people he knew, the equipment he used, and his accomplishments.  I enjoyed the lecture, for it helped understand Brady’s personality.  Beforehand, I always knew him as the man who changed everything with his photographs of the Battle of Antietam’s aftermath.  Now, I can tell that he had a great ability to work both sides during the American Civil War.  Before the war, Brady knew Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee during his years as a West Point photographer, and saw Southern soldiers as resilient even when facing certain death.  Despite this opinion, Lincoln still used the correspondent for his own ends.  While Brady photographed Honest Abe with soldiers for publicity purposes, the president also hired him to escort and photograph General Grant.

Lastly, I loved that Brady had “poor eyesight”.

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