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Appomattox Mill Photographs -- Timothy O'Sullivan and William Pywell
Splice of two Michler maps of Petersburg along the Appomattox River (NARA RG77 / G204-37-38). The river narrows to a raging gorge in the area of Campbell's bridge. The water power is intense and several major industrial mills, spinning cotton, grinding corn, and sawing wood, were constructed here. The water funneled through races from one mill to the next to capture the energy efficiently. The Merchant Manufacturing Company Cotton Mill employed up to 150 people and made uniform clothe for the Confederate army. Johnson's Mill was half a mile downstream from the bridge on the south bank at the main dam. The locality on the north bank was called Ettrick, a village for some 800 mill workers. Ettrick's Cotton Mill, on the left bank upriver from from bridge, employed hundreds of women during the Civil War.
Campbell's Bridge Photographs
LC 12603. "View on the Appomattox River Near Campbell's Bridge." Large format plate exposed by Timothy O'Sullivan, published in Gardner's Sketch Book, vol. 2, plate 82. Two men sitting on the bridge, William Pywell posed in the middle foreground. O'Sullivan and Pywell made at least four other images from the same elevated camera position..
LC 00617. "Petersburg, Virginia, Mills." Right half of stereograph by Timothy O'Sullivan and William Pywell. View from upper story looking upstream on the Appomattox toward The Gorge and Campbell's Bridge. This may have been first in a series of stereoscopes, scratched out plate numbers 425, 426, and 427, followed by a larger format plate. The road climbing the bluff in the distance leads to the mill village of Ettrick, home to more than 800 mill workers. A single man, probably a soldier, sits on the bridge. The ruined stone wall at bottom right shows up in several other views.
LC 00537. "Petersburg, Virginia, Mills." Right half of stereograph by Timothy O'Sullivan, one of a series. Overview of Campbell's Bridge and The Gorge from a building on the south bank. Two men "ghosting" on the bridge. The road up the bluff leads to the mill village of Ettrick. Ruined stone wall in the right foreground.
LC 03714. " [Petersburg, Va. Mills on the Appomattox River near Campbell's Bridge]." Larger format plate by O'Sullivan from same location as the previous views. Two seated men and horse cart at the bridge. This is an exceptionally clear image that was included in Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book, vol. 2, plate 82, where the mill on the far right is identified as The Merchant Manufacturing Company Cotton Mill.
LC00613. "[Petersburg, Va. Mills; photographic wagon of Engineer Dept. in foreground]," right half of stereo view by O'Sullivan and Pywell. View from the north bank approaching Campbell's Bridge and the Gorge. The two main mill buildings on the south bank are connected by a "sky" bridge. The right building features a large bell tower which shows up in other photos. A soldier poses in the mid-ground, while others lounge on the bridge, possibly the same men from the previous series of photos. The photographers' wagon is parked in the foreground, labelled "Photographic Wagon Engineer Department."
LC00619. Left half of stereograph by Timothy O'Sullivan, titled "Petersburg, Virginia. View of mills." View is from south bank. These are the mill buildings directly to the right of Campbell's Bridge. Note the distinctive wind vane atop the cupola of the larger building. In the distance on the hillside is a military camp.
LC00536. "Petersburg, Virginia, Mills." Right half of stereo view by Timothy O'Sullivan, fellow photographer William Pywell is seated atop a boulder overlooking the Appomattox River. This scene is near Campbell's Bridge. A large mill tail race gushes on the far bank. This is a beautifully composed photograph; one can hear the roaring of the water.
LC00541. "Petersburg, Virginia, Mills," right half of stereo view by O'Sullivan and Pywell. Pywell poses in the mid-ground on the road that leads from Campbell's Bridge back up to Ettrick. The view is from the north side of the Appomattox looking back toward the Gorge and mill buildings. The steeples of the Grace Episcopal and Washington Street Baptist Church steeples can be glimpsed in the distance at the far left of the photo.
Johnson's Mill Photographs
LC12601. "Johnson's Mill" (on left) was half a mile downstream from Campbells's Bridge on the main dam that was known by various names. This large format plate (above), negative by O'Sullivan, positive by Gardner, was featured in Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War, vol. 2, plate 80, taken in early May 1865. Taken from the north bank looking south, the town of Petersburg can be glimpsed behind the mill. To the right is the mill dam. Numerous soldiers are posed, some precariously, on the rocks along the river. This image is featured in Davis, Image of War, vol. 4, pg. 778, as an example of O'Sullivan's artistic composition.