Medium: Wet collodion glass-plate negative; one half of stereograph
Publisher: Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Division
Rows of crude wooden boards mark gravesites in Richmond, Virginia's Oakwood Cemetery, the sixty-acre burial ground located northeast of the city and near Chimborazo Hospital. Roughly 6,500 to 8,000 Chimborazo patients died while being treated at the Civil War hospital, and they would have been interred in this graveyard. Chaplains assigned to both Oakwood and Hollywood cemeteries, the two principal Confederate burial grounds in Richmond, performed funeral services "to show the same respect to the dead of the Confederate Army which would have been paid to them by their parents at home." Bodies were generally brought from the hospitals to the burying grounds between ten and noon each day and, when faced with a great number of dead at once, chaplains had to perform mass services.
This image is half of a glass-plate stereograph (viewed as a stereo image it would appear to be three dimensional) and it was taken in 1865, not long after the fall of Richmond, by John Reekie, a field photographer employed by Alexander Gardner's famed photo studio in Washington, D.C. The tall tombstone at right shows the final resting place of "Geo. W. Doss 11th Regt, Ala Vols." In the distance, a man can be seen examining another grave.