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Alexander Gardner: The man who dropped a war at America's doorstep

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WASHINGTON — On a fall day in 1893, an itinerant photographer began rooting through a huge collection of dust-covered glass negatives that had been stashed under the stairs of an old house on Pennsylvania Avenue.

From dingy boxes he pulled portraits of Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant and George McClellan, stark pictures of the hanging of the Lincoln conspirators, and shots of the Civil War battlefield at Antietam.

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