A fresh and surprising look at the American Civil War through pinhole camera photographs of sesquicentennial battlefield reenactments
In 2011, Michael Falco set out to document the American Civil War's 150th anniversary by photographing reenactments of more than 20 major battles—from the First Manassas, Antietam, and Chancellorsville to Gettysburg, Vicksburg, and Appomattox. But rather than shooting these historic re-creations in high-definition, Falco opted for a different, older medium: a pinhole camera. This antebellum photographic technology, shot from an on-the-ground perspective, captures these battlefields in a way that feels more “real” and fully realized than even the famous daguerrotypes made during the war itself. In Falco's transporting photographs, the smoke-filled battle reenactments become blurred and dreamlike, echoing the sentiments found in the actual letters and journals of soldiers who fought and died there. Throughout, historical photographs from the period offer context to the modern-day re-creations, showing just how much—or how little—has changed on this hallowed ground. One hundred and fifty years after the last soldier fell, Echoes of the Civil War provides beautiful and compelling evidence of a Civil War landscape that is, literally and metaphorically, still with us.