The Library of Congress has acquired thousands of Civil War photographs and has put them online. Here is a slide show sampling. My favorites are from the Liljenquist Family collection of individual and family portraits., which the Library of Congress is making available freely, with no copyright restrictions.
These put a human face, literally, on history and on the Civil War, and I find them very moving. (The custom was to have a picture taken in your uniform before you set off for war, knowing that you might never be coming back. Some of the pictures of boys still in adolescence show a fierce bravado that is belied by their baby faces. The pictures of the men with their wives and children show both courage and sadness.) I post one after the jump. (Notice the emotion in this formal pose in the way the husband and wife are holding onto each other’s hands.) [Read more…]