Members of:

ccwp member logo

Center for
Civil War Photography


National Stereoscopic Association

LA 3D Club

LA 3-D Club

Civil War In 3D Interview by Jon Schnitzer of The Brain Factory

In February of 2012 I was contacted by Jon Schnitzer, a 3D Director/Producer and Co-Owner of The Brain Factory about an article he was writing on Civil War stereo views.  Jon had been working on an article for his blog and did a search on Lincoln stereo cards and found our site.  It was not until later that we realized that we both have several friends in common in the 3D community and both live in the Southern California area. 

In March 2012 I participated in an interview with Jon and provided him examples of images from the Civil War.  These include both original, unrestored images as well as completed color versions along with Black and White, Sepia and Color cards for each of the images.

Part II of the interview:  @ The Brain Factory 3D Blog.  For additional images click here.

Part I of the interview:  @ The Brain Factory 3D Blog.   Below are additional images from that part of the interview as well as some background information on the images.

Part 1 of the interview focuses on how I came to restore Civil War stereo images and shows some of the first images I created in 2009.  Since then both my techniques and tools have improved greatly and from time to time, (including this interview) I have gone back and updated older images so that they meet my current standards.  I am showing these images as parallel view, cross eye view and anaglpyh to allow as many types of 3D viewing as possible.  Some of these are shown in Jon’s interview and others are alternate variations to allow the reader to see as many options as possible. 

Custer with Confederate Prisoner

Custer with Dog

Please note that both the original unrestored and color versions are not cropped to allow you to see as much of the image as possible.

Capt. Custer of the 5th Cavalry
With Lt. Washington, a prisoner and classmate

This image of Custer was taken on May 31, 1862 by James Gibson.  At this time Custer was not yet a national name, but still was flamboyant enough to be pursued by photographers.  This was the first image I worked on that both the left and right sides existed on the same glass plate.  My first attempt to mount this as a stereo card failed since I had both sides backwards!  Fortunately I resolved this prior to any sales and my personal copy has been banished.

Image comments:

George Custer was scheduled to graduate from West Point in 1862.   With the onset of war, he was part of a distinct group which graduated a year early, shortly after the regular 1861 graduating class.  Graduating Thirty Fourth out of Thirty Four in his class would  have marked him for obscure assignments had not the needs of the war been so pressing.  One year later, in 1862, this picture was taken with Lt. James B. Washington (relative of George Washington).  Lt. Washington had been a classmate of Custer's, but left to join the Confederacy.  There were many instances of individuals that had been friends, classmates and had fought together before fighting each other.

Parallel view images


Cross Eye view images


Anaglyph view images


Finished Cards


To top of page

Lt. George Custer with dog
The Peninsular Campaign, May-August 1862

This image taken at approximately the same time as the last one is the first image I restored.  I chose it for a couple of reasons.  1. It was an example that was used by the Library of Congress.  2.  My wife loves the image of the dog.  3.  A period version of the card was selling on eBay for $1,800 at the time.  Mostly though I did it for me.  I thought it was a great image.  I still had a lot to learn, but I knew if I could make this 3D image work I could do a lot more.  It took me about two weeks to finish.  When I was done I had it printed locally and then cut it to size and taped it over one of my old cards.  Civil War In 3D was off and running, it would still be several months before I started the site or tried to sell anything, but this is the one that started it.

Image comments:

This image of General Custer was taken in 1862 when he was still a young Lieutenant.  This is probably one of the most cherished images of Custer due to the camp dog.  It is not known if this dog belonged to Custer personally, but his widow did report that Custer had many dogs that often traveled with him.  There are numerous other images featuring Custer and a variety of other dogs.  Some of these are known by name, but not this one.  The habit of traveling with dogs was something Custer maintained until his death in 1876.

Parallel view images


Cross Eye view images


Anaglyph view images


Finished Cards