Civil War photographers, famously Alexander Gardner, used “artistic license” in staging and captioning images, attempting to control how future generations would recall the war, while proclaiming narrative truth. Yet Gardner manipulated images and captions to ensure that future viewers would recall Civil War histories in his terms.

 

Reenactments, in their contemporary attempts to represent the past, similarly alter Civil War narratives. Gardner’s historical captions paired with contemporary images reflect the war’s cross-temporal reinterpretations.