Southern Cause Cover
The Southern Cause - 2008

In this powerful collection of over one hundred images and testimonies, award-winning photographer Thomas Daniel has documented the world of Civil War reenactors--men, women and children who recreate and relive one of the most turbulent and tragic periods in American history. These images capture the reenactors' genuine passion to educate, to celebrate and honor the past, and in some cases, to trace their own ancestry. They capture the fanatical devotion of some to the southern cause, and what it means to be a son or daughter of the South. Their stories also allow us to more fully understand the complexities of this remarkable group and its often misunderstood and controversial flag.
This is a journey to a world few of us know, where the battles of Antietam, Gettysburg, and Harper's Ferry still live, where confederate and union soldiers skirmish, and reenactors labor to duplicate historical truth down to the smallest recorded detail. Their dedication to honest and genuine portrayal is clearly evident in these photographs, in their stories, and in their willingness to bear the discomforts of cold, rain and mud to live the truth of those who died on the battlefields.
Over recent years, Daniel has traveled the South to interview and photograph this society of reenactors--northerners, southerners, Native Americans, and African Americans who share their own individual motives for creating this living history. As Daniel himself writes in the introduction, this book is not to recreate the battles, the reasons for the war, or to argue who won or lost, but to capture all the myriad reasons why men and women dress and live the part of confederate and union soldiers. Their reasons are as candid and diverse as the men and women who live the life of reenactors. The photographs that appear in this volume, however, are the most memorable. They alone tell revealing, unforgettable stories.

Into My Eyes Cover
Thomas Daniel: Into My Eyes - 2000

Tom Daniel is an underground legend throughout the Southeastern U.S. and beyond. This mid-career retrospective spans 25 years of intensely personal collaboration between artist, camera, and subject. The 80 black-and-white images included track ten major themes the artist has pursued over the past three decades. From three tours as a combat photographer in Vietnam to the current series involving Yoruba religious practitioners in the Louisiana cane country, this book explores Daniel's remarkable vision and curiosity. Taken as a whole, his work, which has been called controversial, disturbing, and brilliant, tells us much about America since the end of the Vietnam War. Although Daniel's external circumstances changed radically once he left Vietnam, one of his recurring subjects is portraits of individuals who have been marginalized by society, and those on the losing side-elderly German men, southern "Daughters of the Confederacy." Together, they form an emotionally rich, insightful body of work.

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Photographs: Thomas A. Daniel - 1974

It has been said that the less knowledgeable the photographer, the more likely it is that the photograph will be a document of reality. The educated photographer calls upon an arsenal or lens, films, techniques, and artistic insight to work his pictorial magic. The snapshot photographer uses his camera to record what is. Tom Daniel is an educated photographer who approaches the world with the documentary realism of the snapshot artist. But here the analogy ends. Formed by the urban experience and Vietnam duty as a combat photographer, Daniel’s photography penetrates the somnambulic blinders of social propriety to reveal essential data about the human condition.
These ineloquent images can repel the viewer from close scrutiny, but they have a persistent ability to return as faintly perceived afterimages long after the viewer has turned away.
The Book is now out of print.