Watching the Shot - a painting by Winslow Homer

Historical Clues: A Curiosity

Watching the Shot

A Curiosity

Fig. 5-6: Detail of the man on the bridge
in the 1865 photograph of the High Bridge.
United States Library of Congress

The image at right (Fig. 5-6) shows a detail of the photograph from Fig. 5-4. The enlarged area focuses on the man standing on the High Bridge as the photograph of the span was taken by Timothy H. O'Sullivan in April 1865, just after the Battle of High Bridge. At this time, repairs were being made to both the railroad bridge and the wagon bridge. It is interesting to note the resemblance of the man on the bridge and Homer, pictured in various portraits in Fig. 5-7. Considering that Homer may have been near the site around the time of the battle, as described in the section "Homer's Whereabouts," is it possible that the man in the photograph of the bridge is Homer? Although pure speculation, but it is an interesting curiosity discovered during research of Watching the Shot.

Fig. 5-7: Various portraits of Winslow Homer. Far left and center by unknown photographer. Far right is a detail of photograph made in 1880 by Napoleon Sarony.
ALL: Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, Maine.
FAR LEFT AND CENTER Reproduced from "Winslow Homer Paintings of the Civil War" by Marc Simpson

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