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A photograph of the headquarters of General Meade, commander of the Union Army, by Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan, July 1863.

The Army of the Potomac, commanded by Union Major General George Meade, used Gettysburg resident Lydia Leister’s farm as its headquarters during the Battle of Gettysburg. The farm was chosen because of its position behind the center of the Union lines. This photograph of the farm when it served as Meade’s headquarters is the work of Civil War photographers Alexander Gardner and Timothy O’Sullivan. With other photographers, Gardner and O’Sullivan captured many scenes at Gettysburg and shared them with the American public through exhibits and publications. Photographers at Gettysburg and other Civil War battles carried heavy, cumbersome equipment onto the field and risked personal safety in order to document the war.