St. Peter's Church, Harpers Ferry, 1863.

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1863 Photograph

The image above is an excerpt from a photograph taken on July 5, 1863, during the Confederate forces' retreat from the battle at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, as reproduced in Michael Caplinger's study (1997: 52) of developments in railroad construction in Harpers Ferry. The original photograph was taken from the Maryland shore of the Potomac River, and the main stem of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad and the adjacent turnpike road can be seen in the foreground (Caplinger 1997: 52). The front (east) facade of St. Peter's Church appears in the background, with its three, prominent, arched windows. Notably, one can discern a dark object at the top of the church steeple. This object could be a flag flying over the steeple; it could also be an imperfection in the original photographic negative or in this reproduction copy of that photograph. Copies of this photograph are available in the Library of Congress Archives. I have not yet seen another print copy of this photograph showing the same object at the top of the steeple; the other print copies I have seen are much more faded and barely display all features of the church steeple itself.

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by Christopher Fennell
Last Modified: December 14, 2007