A.J. Russell

Dates1830 - 1902
BornNunda, New York, United States
DiedBrooklyn, New York, United States

Andrew Joseph Russell, a captain in the volunteer infantry, became a photographer during the American Civil War. As photographer-engineer for the United States Military Railroad Construction Corps, he was assigned to photograph battlefields and campsites in Virginia. He also photographed engineering projects and contributed images to what was probably the world's first technical manual illustrated with photographs.

The Union Pacific Railroad Company later hired Russell to document the building of the transcontinental railroad, creating a visual document "calculated to interest all classes of people, and to excite the admiration of all reflecting minds as the colossal grandeur of the Agricultural, Mineral, and Commercial resources of the West are brought to view." For about two years following the celebrated driving of the last spike at Promontory Summit, Utah, on May 10, 1869, he continued to photograph the areas around the railroad and began to write dispatches about the West for Eastern newspapers. After he returned to New York, he maintained a photography studio there and never traveled West again.