Killing Ground by John Huddleston
The Civil War and the Changing American Landscape (Creating the North American Landscape)

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" Killing Ground is a significant contribution, a new way of looking at highly familiar images."—Shelby Foote

"These haunting photographs of then and now offer a new and powerful perspective on the tragedies and triumphs—above all, the human cost—of the Civil War. John Huddleston's photographs of selected spots on dozens of battlefields of that war, juxtaposed with photographs of soldiers killed or wounded there and other contemporary illustrations, make telling points in a unique manner. This book does more than prove the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words; it tells the poignant story of the Civil War in a way that goes beyond words."—James McPherson

" Killing Ground situates us uncomfortably in a terrain where living memory has only recently completed its transformation into history. John Huddleston has photographed the scenes of this vast communal hurt, from the mightiest battles to obscure actions involving a few combatants; in every instance he asks the land itself to yield up what traces it may hold of the mortal issues contested there. Suburban intersection, brushy tangle, murky pool, well-tended battle park—all are joined by a commonality that Huddleston insists we not forget: Americans died here, killed by other Americans."—Frank Gohlke

In Killing Ground, John Huddleston embarks on a photographic odyssey through the modern-day landscape of the Civil War. He pairs historical images of the conflict from sixty-two battle sites across the nation—battlefield scenes, soldiers living and dead, prisoners of war, civilians, and slaves—with his own color photographs of the same locations a century and a half later, always taken at the same time of year, often at the same hour of the day. Sometimes Huddleston's lens reveals a department store or fast-food restaurant carelessly built on hallowed ground; other images depict overgrown fields or well-manicured parks. When contrasted with their mid-nineteenth-century counterparts, these indelible images challenge the meaning of place in American culture and the evolving legacy of the Civil War in our national memory.


About John Huddleston

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John Huddleston is a professor of art at Middlebury College. His photographs have been widely exhibited and have appeared in Harper's, Preservation, Worth, and DoubleTake.
Published January 22, 2003 by The Johns Hopkins University Press. 200 pages
Genres: History, Arts & Photography, War, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

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Most often his photos here show how agrarian battlefields have been silently incorporated into creeping suburbs: the battlefield near Ruff's Mill in Smyrna, Ga., is now overlooked by a generic strip mall featuring a dry cleaner, while the position of the Union Right, First Line, near Fort Sanders...

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