This Civil War era photo is one of many taken by those who wished to document the horrific injuries suffered by soldiers during battle. Case in point, this photograph of Private Joseph Harvey, taken in June 1865, reveals the morbid aftermath of a shell wound to the right side of his face received May 3rd, 1863 at the battle of Chancellorsville, Virginia. The right eye was destroyed, the upper jaw/palate was fractured, bone from the lower jaw was chipped off, and the right cheek was devastatingly injured to the point that a gaping hole was permanently left behind. Joseph Harvey died December 9, 1868 from causes undetermined.
ARTIST NOTES: Clues to Joseph's features were hidden in the shadows of the side of his face not facing the camera. Long, dark eyelashes and sleepy lids were discernible from the left side, and the contours of the eyesocket suggested that his eyes in general had a sleepy appearance overall. Though his hair was dark and thick like a young man, the skin on his neck and ear suggested that he was a bit older than he looked as it was heavily creased and leathery-looking, like a man who spent at least a decade or more of his adult life in the sun, placing his age possibly somewhere into his 30's or even early 40's. The shape and attitude of his mouth was again hinted at in the shadows of the unaffected side of his face, even in silhouette.
U.S. National Library of Medicine,
History of Medicine Division
Image I.D. 218551
Record UI: 101574187http://ihm.nlm.nih.gov/luna...
War Department, Surgeon General's Office, Army Medical Museum, 1865
Closing Image: "Pvt. Joseph Harvey" 2014. Digital Photo Art. © M.A. Ludwig