Timothy O’Sullivan was born in 1840 and was a photographer. Born in Ireland, his parents emigrated to the United States in 1842. O’Sullivan died of tuberculosis at the age of 42 and left behind some incredible photographs during the Civil war and the expansion westward after the war.
O’Sullivan discovered this inscription that was carved in sandstone in 1726. The inscription was found in New Mexico and it has been turned into the El Morro National Monument.
In 1867, he went to Virginia City, Nevada to document the mining procedures of the men of the Savage, the Gould, and the Curry mines on the Comstock Lode. The men worked 900 feet under ground and O’Sullivan photographed them in tunnels, shafts, and lifts.
When the Civil War ended, O’Sullivan became the official photographer for the United States Geological Exploration of the 40th Parallel from 1867 to 1869. He was tasked to take photographs of the west that would lure Americans to settle there. He created records of prehistoric ruins, Native American weavers and pueblo villages.
O’Sullivan was an apprentice to the photography pioneer, Matthew Brady. O’Sullivan enlisted in the Union Army in 1861 and took photographs in his spare time.
After joining a surveying team in Panama to assess the difficulty of digging a canal in the isthmus, O’Sullivan returned to photograph the American West, jointing Lt. George Wheeler’s survey team. After facing near-starvation when his survey boat capsized on the Colorado River, O’Sullivan accepted a post with the U.S. Geological Survey in Washington, D.C.
When the Civil War ended, O’Sullivan became the official photographer for the Unite Boat crew of the “Picture” at Diamond Creek. Photo shows photographer Timothy O’Sullivan, fourth from left, with fellow members of the Wheeler survey and Native Americans, following ascent of the Colorado River through the Black Canyon in 1871.
July 1863, O’Sullivan captured the famous scene from the aftermath of the Battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. The photograph shows the battlefield riddled with bodies from both sides, the Union and the Confederates.
When O’Sullivan was discharged from the army in 1862, he rejoined his former teacher, Matthew Brady. Later that year he began following Major General John Pope and his Northern Virginia Campaign. O’Sullivan joined Alexander Gardner and published 44 photographs in Gardener’s “Photographic Sketch Book of the War.”
Source: Irish Central