Gettysburg Faces

Portraits and Personal Accounts

Ronald Coddington

A collection of 100 rare photographs of identified soldiers and other participants in the Gettysburg Campaign, each accompanied by an account of their unique experiences.
Date Published :
August 2022
Publisher :
Gettysburg Publishing
Illustration :
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding. : Paperback
ISBN : 9781734627640
Pages : 384
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stock


A collection of 100 original, rarely seen photographs of identified Union and Confederate soldiers and other participants in the Gettysburg Campaign, each accompanied by vivid accounts of their personal experiences based on letters, journals, newspaper reports, regimental histories, and other documents.

The photographs are wartime portraits of men and women presented to families, friends, and comrades in arms. These unique artifacts, once found in parlor photo albums, fireplace hearths, and bedstands, somehow survived the ravages of time and today are in the hands of private collectors. The faces of the individuals reveal the romance and horror of a generation at war.

The stories that accompany each image detail triumphant and tragic events before, during and after the three-day fight. These individuals hailed from all walks of life—rich and poor, urban and rural, native born and immigrant, with varying levels of education and perspectives on life.

Each profile is a microhistory. Together, they tell the larger story of Gettysburg in human terms.

Among those you’ll meet: James M. “Roe” Reisinger of the 150th Pennsylvania Infantry, who suffered a wound and later received the Medal of Honor for his actions at on July 1; Helim S. Thompson of the 44th New York Infantry, severely wounded and left for dead on Little Round Top; Zachariah Angel Blanton of the 18th Virginia Infantry, wounded and captured in Pickett’s Charge; and Harriett A. Dada Emens, a nurse who cared for desperately wounded and sick in the Union army’s 12th Corps Hospital.

About The Author

Ronald S. Coddington is editor and publisher of Military Images, a quarterly magazine dedicated to showcasing, interpreting and preserving Civil War portrait photography. He has previously written a series of five books about Civil War photography, published by The Johns Hopkins University Press, and articles for The New York Times, USA Today, Civil War Times, Civil War Monitor, the Civil War News, and other publications.



1: Prelude to Battle
2: The First Day
3: The Second Day
4: The Third Day
5: After the Fight



"In Gettysburg Faces, Ronald S. Coddington presents us with one hundred images of soldiers who fought in the battle, together with their stories. The tintype, ambrotype, and carte de visite photographs are reproduced in full color, each on its own full page. As these soldiers stare at us across the span of more than a century and a half, their stories are likewise resurrected, informing us of the vast range of fates that awaited the combatants in the American Civil War’s most famous battle. With the added bonus of a preface that discusses the era’s portrait photography and the development of a community of collectors, this handsome volume will appeal to anyone interested in the Battle of Gettysburg, Civil War photography, or tales of individual soldiers caught up in the maelstrom of the first three days of July 1863."

- Mark H. Dunkelman, author of "Gettysburg’s Unknown Soldier: The Life, Death, and Celebrity of Amos Humiston"

"This book deserves to be on the bookshelf of all truly interested in the preservation of this chapter of American history. Hopefully it will be a catalyst for more such publications to follow."

- Ross J. Kelbaugh, author of "Introduction to Civil War Photography"

"If you have walked through the Gettysburg battlefield with its cold stone monuments, it is easy to forget the human side of the war. Ron Coddington puts a face to those marble edifices and brass plaques. This book will entice both lifelong Civil War buffs and novices alike."

- Paul Hoza, host of the "Untold Civil War" podcast

"Ron Coddington continues to work his magic, providing the reader with a scholarly work not fixated on battle statistics or big blue arrow troop movements, but focuses on telling the soldier’s story. The reader is transported onto the battlefield to hear first-hand accounts of the struggle from the perspective of soldiers who fought at Gettysburg.  This stunning book, with superb images of Union and Confederate soldiers, shows what courageous men are capable of accomplishing in the face of tremendous odds."

- Jim Quinlan, founder of the Arlington National Cemetery Project and editor of "Armed Only with Faith: The Civil War Correspondence of Chaplain William Lyman Hyde, 112th New York Infantry"

"Coddington's telling of the Gettysburg saga through the portraits of the men who fought--and many died--there is an imaginative means to put a personal face on the Yankees and Rebels who strove there.  The stories of personal tragedies told in these images are eloquent of war's cost--empty sleeves, blinded eyes, and so many boys hardly yet men.  They also make it clearer than ever that this was a homespun war, the most uniform thing about the men being the utter lack of uniformity in their dress and weaponry.  The text and accompanying maps by the inimitable John B. Bachelder provide fine background, but a reader can profit from merely looking at the photographs, many never before published.  This is the face of war at ground level, and Civil War photographic history at its best."

- William C. "Jack" Davis, editor of the landmark series "The Image of War: 1861-1865"

"Beautifully presented, Gettysburg Faces is essential reading for those with a general interest in the Civil War and belongs in the reference library of any serious student of the battle of Gettysburg."

- Ron Field, author of "Silent Witness: The Civil War through Photography and its Photographers"

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