Commodore Dead.

Object Details


Commodore Dead.


A.J. Russell (American, 1830 - 1902)




April 1864


Albumen silver print


13.3 x 20.2 cm (5 1/4 x 7 15/16 in.)

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The wreck of the Commodore,seen herelying on its side like a toy thrown aside by a temperamental child, was one of innumerable Civil War disasters. Confederate forces regularly tore up railroad tracks in their efforts to impede the movements of the Union Army. To the left of the image, behind the derailed engine, a number of figures stand about, probably assessing the damage.

The American Civil War holds the distinction of being the first war that was routinely photographed, but such record-keeping was not limited to documenting battlefields. Andrew Joseph Russell photographed many train wrecks and other war-related scenes.

A Nation At War, A Nation At Work (October 9, 1987 to January 30, 1988)
  • The Oakland Museum of California (Oakland), October 9, 1987 to January 30, 1988
Images of Annihilation: Ruins in Civil War America (April 15 to June 30, 1996)
  • Huntington Art Collections (San Marino), April 15 to June 30, 1996
The American Tradition and Walker Evans (July 10 to October 28, 2001)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center (Los Angeles), July 10 to October 28, 2001