A Minneapolis photojournalism museum is opening its first exhibit devoted to photos of Civil War soldiers, with a special focus on the work of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Josephine MacPherson.
The MacPhersons Pulitzer-winning series of photo essays documenting the Civil Wars was published in 1946.
They chronicled the deaths of more than 30,000 soldiers in battle and the hardships of the war’s first three years.
MacPherds series is called “The Ghosts of Civil Wars” and it’s on view from Nov. 6 to Dec. 11 at the University of Minnesota, which is the oldest continuously operating museum in the United States.
The exhibit showcases photographs from the period from a variety of sources, including soldiers’ personal papers, documents and letters.
The collection also includes some photographs taken by MacPhereson while working as a freelance photographer during the Civil Rights movement.
In one photograph taken by a photographer who has not been identified, a soldier in a band of Confederates wearing a Confederate flag is seen on the side of a truck in front of the Confederate Memorial, a monument that overlooks the battlefield.
In another photo, a young woman, wearing a white dress and holding a Confederate banner, walks toward the camera.
Another photo shows the Confederate battle flag on a truck, as well as Confederate flags and flags of other organizations on the ground.
A woman holds a Confederate salute during a meeting of the Mississippi-Alabama Ku Klux Klan in St. Louis, Missouri, in January 1948.
In an accompanying video, MacPheson shows off her photos in front the flag of the United Confederate Veterans, a national group of veterans.
MacPhenson was born in Staunton, Virginia, in 1924.
She grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended high school in St Petersburg, Florida, and graduated from the University to the University at Buffalo in 1939.
In 1948, she began taking pictures in the trenches at Fort Wagner, where she worked as a photographer.
She started taking pictures of soldiers as they fought, in the field and on the battlefield, and later published her first photo essay for the magazine, “The Ghost of Civil Years,” in 1945.
Her work became part of the Civil and World War Veterans Memorials series, which was created in 1953 to honor war veterans who were killed in action.
She was also awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 1949 for her work in reporting the story of the first bombing raid on the Pentagon, which destroyed the Pentagon and caused the deaths, wounding and destruction of more people than any other bombing raid.
Her Pulitzer Prize winning photo essay “The Suicide of the Red Cross” was published a year later in a New York Times Magazine article titled “The Red Cross Suicide.”
In the article, Macpherds story is told.
She describes her experiences as a child living with the loss of a father in the Battle of the Bulge.
Her father, a Confederate, died at age 14, when his son was born.
Macpherds first photo report about the Battle was published by The Times in 1951, and she was awarded the National Medal of Arts.
Mac Pherds photo essay, “Black Death,” was also published in The Times and became part the series that featured photographs from across the globe of people being killed by black Americans during the civil rights movement.
Mac is a graduate of the University and a graduate student at the National War College.