Last week, for #Throwback Thursday, we shared two images of William H. Tipton, a prominent Gettysburg photographer whose images show up in our records of St. Joseph Academy. The Academy records contain a total of five Tipton photographs, showing both campus and students. We present them here. All images are used with the permission of the Provincial Archives. The images in this online exhibit are 150 dpi; high-resolution images are available for study in the Provincial Archives.
Category Archives: Gettysburg
(Images used with permission of the Daughters of Charity Provincial Archives. Text is based on an article which appeared online in PACivilWar150.com)
Seen here are two images from the early 1890s at St. Joseph’s Academy in Emmitsburg. One is the group image of the Class of 1894; the other is an art classroom. They are, of course, a window into the lives of the young women who were educated in Emmitsburg over 100 years ago; however, they have a second interesting feature. They, along with other images in our St. Joseph’s Academy collection, are the work of a well-known Civil War photographer, William H. Tipton.
At the time of the Battle of Gettysburg in 1863, the only local commercial studio in the town was operated by Charles J. (1838-1906) and Isaac G. Tyson (1833-1913). The studio was founded in 1859. Tipton (1850-1929) was a native of Gettysburg who began working there as an apprentice at the age of twelve. Following the battle, the studio distributed images documenting the battlefield area and Gettysburg itself taken before and after the battle.
In 1866 Tipton and one of his employees, Robert A. Myers, purchased the studio from the Tysons and renamed it Tipton and Myers Excelsior Gallery. In 1880 Tipton became sole owner and the firm became known as W. H. Tipton and Company. Tipton’s business flourished, and he continued to photograph Civil War battlefields, including Antietam, Fredericksburg, Petersburg, Spotsylvania, and Chancellorsville. He served on the Gettysburg Town Council and was elected to the state legislature, and worked on President Theodore Roosevelt’s campaign.
An indication of the scope of Tipton’s business can be seen on the back of the 1894 class picture, which contains this note:
… I have many thousands of plates taken from battle to present time, from which I can furnish photographs or lantern slides.
Headquarters for souvenir albums, guide book, and tourists novelties.
3 Main Street
Today, Tipton’s Civil War photography resides at the National Archives, as part of the records of the National Park Service.
Included in that collection are people and scenes used by Paul Philippoteaux as the basis for his Gettysburg Cyclorama. The cyclorama, now restored, can be seen today in the Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park. It is not clear how much of Tipton’s non-Civil-War photography has survived. The Provincial Archives has none of Tipton’s business records, nor do we have images of Tipton’s connected with Gettysburg or the Civil War. The images of his that we have are from work he did for the Daughters of Charity at St. Joseph’s Academy. However, we were pleased to find that our collections can add, in a small way, to the record of this important local photographer.
(Excerpt from Provincial Annals of 1863 used with permission of the Provincial Archives)
We have been concentrating on our current exhibit “Over There,” which highlights the history of 10 American Daughters of Charity who nursed near the Italian front during World War I. But at this time of year, we rightly recall other Daughters who came face to face with the horrors of the Battle of Gettysburg, fought just about 10 miles to the north of St. Joseph’s Provincial House here in Emmitsburg. The Sisters met Union soldiers who stopped at the Provincial House on their way to Gettysburg and then as patients in the town’s makeshift hospitals after the fighting ceased. Today, July 1, marks the 152nd anniversary of the start of the battle, so we post in remembrance a photograph of Sr. Camilla O’Keefe, who both left accounts of the Union visitors to St. Joseph’s and would then nurse at the hospital at the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg after the battle.
Below is a passage from the Provincial Annals which describes the arrival of the union soldiers on the Emmitsburg Campus.
First appearance to our surprise, were the Cavalry located over in the meadows on the hill, as the morning of the 29th June 1863. The large meadows were all ready for mowing, the overseer, Mr. Brawner, had the mowing machine put in one of the meadows ready for work on the following day, but the squad of Cavalry saved him, the trouble and completely cleared the grounds of very blade of grass. Well, St. Joseph’s had to make the best of the loss. About 4 o’clock in the afternoon came the troops, some on horse back, making their way up the road from the barn, some up the road from the Hill, until the grounds around were actually covered with soldiers …
Before the arrival of the Army, the Artillery passed up the road in its way to Gettysburg, such a sight of canons was terrible … Now for the great Battle of Gettysburg, the most terrific of the war. During the 30th the Armies were making preparations for the great fighting! About noon on the first of July we heard very distinctly, the cannonading, Boom, Boom, so terrific, this kept on until the afternoon of the 4th, when the Confederates were defeated and retreated away as fast as they could that night. They had crossed the Potomac before the Federals reached too late to take prisoners.