The Grim Reaper's Harvest
Here Grooms was inspired by an illustration from Gardner’s Photographic Sketch Book of the War. In 1865 John Reekie photographed African Americans picking up the bones of Union soldiers killed three years earlier in the Battle of Chancellorsville. Gardner titled the scene, A Burial Party and complained: It speaks ill of the residents of that part of Virginia, that they allowed even the remains of those they considered enemies, to decay unnoticed where they fell. The soldiers, to whom commonly falls the task of burying the dead, may possibly have been called away before the task was completed.