The past few weeks have seen me glued to the PBS channel watching a rerun of Ken Burns The Civil War to mark the 150th anniversary of the start of the conflict. I remember first watching the documentary back in Britain.
Burns made full use of contemporary photographs to illustrate the carnage of war and of how life was lived in America from 1861 to 1865. And apparently during the conflict, photographers and photography businesses made a good living. However, when the war ended, the bottom dropped out of the market.
Thousands of the glass negatives were never printed but sold off to become the glass panels in conservatories and greenhouses, the images eventually fading from the glass due to the continued exposure to sunlight.
I have had my own problems preserving images this week. On Monday, I was working on processing images shot on a visit to St Marys, Georgia, on Saturday. I had just finished a B&W conversion and hit Save. A dialog box sprang out informing me that the image could not be saved because there was insufficient space on the hard drive.
Sure enough, the drive devoted to photographs was showing just 45MB of free space.
Since then I have been working through my folders in Adobe Bridge culling those images that have never been processed, for obvious reasons, or those that do not quite come up to standard.
Of late, I have gotten into the habit of deleting all superfluous images at the end of processing. It is a great pity I didn’t start that practice back in 2009. It is a chore and imagine many of know exactly what I mean.
Work has ceased on processing the images from St Marys, which featured the town’s Oak Grove Cemetery, which dates from 1778. I have managed to process a few.
In keeping with my interest in The Civil War, I happened across the grave of a Confederate soldier who had served with the 4th Georgia Volunteer Cavalry.
James Wilson was in D Company, also known as the Camden Chasseurs. St Marys is located in Camden County.
A fascinating account of the history of the 4th Georgia Volunteer Cavalry, also known as Clinch’s Regiment and The Wiregrass Fourth, can be found at Amy Hedrick’s Web site GlynnGen.com.
Oak Grove Cemetery also contains the graves of a number of Acadians. Forced to flee in 1755 from their native provinces of Novia Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island in Canada by the British, the French eventually found them a new home on the island of Saint Domingue. But they were forced to flee the island in 1790 when the native Haitians rebelled against the French.
Many Acadians found a new home in Lousiana but a few made their way to Georgia and St Marys, which became their final resting place.
More information on the Acadians in St Marys can be found at a Web site called The Crypt, set up Camden County.
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