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(Warning: graphic material) A photograph of Union dead at Gettysburg by Timothy O’Sullivan, 1863.

The subjects of this photograph were among the twenty-three thousand casualties suffered by Union forces at Gettysburg. They were some of the eight thousand soldiers and three thousand horses (from both armies) who died on the battlefield. Because it was the height of summer, bodies needed to be buried quickly to minimize smell and preserve public health. The Union Army, being victorious, could remain after the battle at Gettysburg to bury the Union dead.

This photograph of the Gettysburg battlefield was selected from an album attributed to famous Civil War photographer Mathew Brady. However, many were not taken by Brady himself, but by his team of unrecognized assistants or by former associates. This Timothy O'Sullivan photograph shows unshod Union dead, who probably fell behind enemy lines. It is likely their boots were looted by retreating Confederate soldiers.