Andy Anderson Rewrites History with The American Battlefield Trust
Andy Anderson‘s curiosity and adventurous spirit drive all that he does, including his photography. Andy has said that with “being a photographer comes a responsibility to use this powerful tool to tell stories about the joy of discovery that this curiosity offers.” It’s this can-do, no frills attitude that creatives crave and was especially relevant in a recent project in collaboration with Jeff Griffith Creative and the American Battlefield Trust Magazine, Hallowed Ground.
To pay homage to a Civil War battle at the confederate Fort Battery Wagner, the magazine needed a photographer who could capture the urgency of this battle while also highlighting Civil War hero Sgt. William Carney from the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. With a military background, Andy came with a niche perspective to masterfully tell this important story.
What was your most memorable moment on this project?
This was a full-scale reenactment so fake bombs and gunfire were happening all around me. Even though in the back of my mind I knew they weren’t real, the reenactors do a great job of setting the scene, so it all feels very real. William Carney saved the US flag from being captured by the confederacy so seeing Marvin-Alonzo Greer, who played Carney, with the flag was powerful and a memorable moment too.
What did you learn on this project?
So much of our history omits certain narratives and edits the true story, especially as it relates to race. William Carney was the first Black medal of honor recipient however he didn’t receive the medal until 30 years after the war was over. This attack was led by the Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry largely comprised of Black soldiers. I was able to learn so much about this important piece of history while on set. The reenactors know so much about the story, so it was fun to be able to learn about it from people who are passionate about American history.
What do you hope people learn about you and your work after viewing this?
That I’m up for anything. It doesn’t need to fit into a certain category to get me excited. I love working with creative people and people who care deeply for what they do, any project that comes from that is something I am game to shoot.
Follow Andy on Instagram for more imagery from a photographer living life committed to the outdoors.