Thomas C. Roche

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One of Roche's Civil War photographs, showing a dead Confederate soldier at Fort Mahone, Petersburg, Virginia April,1865.
Variation of the above picture

Thomas C. Roche (1826–1895) was a photographer known for his photographs of the American Civil War.

Roche's first job as a professional photographer was for Henry T. Anthony, a chemist in New York, and his brother Edward, for whom he took photographs of the city and the harbor starting in 1859.[1] He continued to work for the Anthonys during the war, making photographs for his company's popular "Instantaneous Views." [2] He also traveled on the front lines with the Army of the James.[3] An anecdote describes Roche's reaction to the horrors of war: after an artillery shell exploded next to him, it was said, "shaking the dust from his head and his camera he quickly moved to the spot and, placing it over the pit made by the explosion, exposed his plate as coolly as if there were no danger."[4]

After the war Roche returned to work for the Anthonys, with whom he published a book on photography.[5]


  1. ^ Harry Johnson, Maritime New York in Nineteenth-Century Photographs (New York: Dover, 1980), xiv.
  2. ^ Roy Meredith, Mr. Lincoln's Camera Man, Mathew B. Brady (New York: Dover, 1974), 118.
  3. ^ Meredith, 190.
  4. ^ Kenneth P. Czech, Snapshot: America Discovers the Camera (Minneapolis: Lerner, 1996), 26.
  5. ^ Thomas C. Roche and Henry T. Anthony, How to Make Photographs: A Manual for Amateurs, 5th ed. (New York: E. & H. T. Anthony, 1895). In the collection of the New York Public Library.

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