Artificial Intelligence meets Gettysburg. And it is a marvelous pairing.
Author Patrick Brennan, a long-time student of the Civil War, author of two books, and an editorial advisor for The Civil War Monitor magazine, has teamed up with his technology-astute daughter Dylan Brennan to bring the largest Civil War battle to to life in striking life-like colors.
Rather than guess or dabble with the colors, as so many do these days, the Brennans used an artificial intelligence-based computerized color identifier to determine the precise color of uniforms, flesh, hair, equipment, terrain, houses, and much more. The result is a monumental full-color study of the important three-day battle that brings the men, the landscape, and the action into the 21st Century.
The deep colorization of battle-related woodcuts, for example, reveals a plethora of details that have long passed unseen. The photos of the soldiers and their officers look as if they were taken yesterday.
The use of this modern technology has also solved a couple lingering mysteries. It not only helped pinpoint the precise location of one of Gettysburg's most famous "death" images, but determined that two of the seven "Union" dead depicted were in fact Confederates. As Pat Brennan explains, that may also be a “first” when it comes to Civil War photography: “It was long believed this was an image of seven dead Union soldiers. In fact, only five are Union men. The other two are Confederates. I am still researching the issue, but I believe this may be the only photo we have from the entire Civil War that portrays dead from both sides.”
Gettysburg in Color will be out in the Summer of 2022 and include nearly 300 photos, paintings, drawings, and woodcuts colorized utilizing the latest in color-recognition software, together with Brennan’s unique digital painting techniques and his own extensive research.
About the Author: Pat Brennan is the author of Secessionville: Assault On Charleston (1996) and To Die Game: General J. E. B. Stuart, CSA (1998) and more than twenty articles for a variety of Civil War magazines and journals. Pat’s work has appeared in the Chicago Tribune and The Reader, and he has lectured around the country on the Civil War and Bob Dylan. // Dylan Brennan works on the broadcast video production team at Tasty Trade, a real time, online financial network based in Chicago.