The civil war of 1861-1865 was one of the first battles to be photographed. William R. Pywell was the man who took the photos, and they are an important part of American history. The cameras took a few minutes to actually take the picture, and later took several days to develop. my background is the very first picture that still is known today. It was taken by Joseph Nicéphore Niépce in 1826 or 1827 .