Photography Feed

Confederate Prisoners, Chattanooga, Tenn. 1864


2.5D rendering of a photo of Confederate prisoners. Amazing the amount of detail that 'pops' out to the picture by using this technique. As this photograph was taken, some of the Confederate prisoners were standing at the railroad depot awaiting transportation to the prisons in the North. There such bodies were usually guarded by partially disable soldiers organized as the Veteran Reserve Corps. They had more to eat than the Norther prisoner in the South, yet often less than the among to which they were entitled by the army regulations. In the South, during the last years of the war, prisoners almost starved, while their guard dared little better. With all the resources of the North, Confederate prisoners often wen hungry, because of the difficulty of organizing such a tremendous task and finding suitable officers to take charge.”

More at:


Newly Discovered Portraits of Jefferson and Varina Davis

Quarter-plate tintypes attributed to Jesse H. Whitehurst of Washington, D.C. John O’Brien collection.

In Washington, D.C. on Jan. 21, 1861, Jefferson Davis stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and bid farewell to his colleagues. Two weeks earlier, his homeland of Mississippi had dissolved its ties with the Union, a move that effectively ended his senatorial career. 

The day proved the saddest of his life. Worn down by attempts to find a compromise to avert the current crisis and weighted down with stress and anxiety, Davis would soon leave the capital bound for an uncertain fate. His wife, Varina, would accompany him, equally distraught to leave their much-loved Washington.

Physical characteristics indicate the portraits were made at the same time. The brass mats and frames are similar, as is the texture of the back of the iron plates. Though the Davises may have visited Whitehurst’s gallery together, their different poses suggests the portraits were not thought of as a pair—Jefferson stares straight ahead and Varina in profile.


Read the full article at:


Only Known Photograph Of A Mounted Alabama Confederate

At the beginning of hostilities, Alabama state troops seized forts at the entrance to Mobile Bay and the Union arsenal at Mount Vernon.  There was no fighting in the state early in the war, but in 1862 invading Federal forces held sizable areas. To resist the invasion, almost every white Alabamian old enough to carry a gun enlisted in the Confederate forces.  Some 2,500 white men and 10,000 blacks had already enlisted in the Union army. 

There are no statistics on Alabama’s contributions to the Confederate army, but estimates vary between 75,000 and 125,000 fighting men from a population of just above 500,000 whites.  Estimates of losses range from 25,000 to 70,000. The state furnished the Confederacy with 60-65 regiments of infantry, 12-15 regiments of cavalry, and over 20 batteries of artillery.

(Source: Historical Times Illustrated Encyclopedia of the Civil War) 

Photo: In case: May 11th 1861″ and “To David / Adams / Montevallo, Ala.”Ambrotype is 3.25 x 4.75 inches File name: Q778; Q779; Q780 -

See more at: 


Rare Civil War photos now at the Smithsonian

March 27, 2015: Texas stereoscopic photography collector Robin Stanford poses for a photograph next to some of her rare Civil War-era stereoscopic photographs at the Library of Congress in Washington. (AP)

WASHINGTON –  A Houston housewife who has quietly collected rare Civil War images for 50 years has sold more than 500 early photographs to the Library of Congress.

The library announced the acquisition Sunday and is placing the first 77 images online. On Friday, 87-year-old Robin Stanford delivered the historic stereograph images from her collection to the library.

Some scenes offer a rare glimpse of slave life in the South from images made by Confederate photographers. Most previous photos showed slaves who were recently freed in the North.

Other parts of Stanford's collection show images of South Carolina at the start of the war. Another set depicts President Abraham Lincoln's funeral procession in 1865.

Stanford says the images are like ghosts from the past that reflect part of American history.

From Fox News

Main Street in Lexington, Virginia, ca. 1865-1866

Photo taken shortly after the end of the Civil War

The ruins of the Virginia Military Institute Barracks , extensively damaged during Hunter’s Raid are visible in the background.

Materials in the VMI Archives Digital Collections are intended for educational and research use and may be used for non-commercial purposes with appropriate attribution. The user assumes all responsibility for identifying and satisfying any claimants of copyright. Contact the VMI Archives for additional information.

Virginia Military Institute — Photographs.

From The Civil War Parlor

Confederate submariner


This photo may be that of Joseph F. Ridgaway, who served as second in command aboard the Confederate submarine HL Hunley. It may be the only known photograph of any of the 21 men who died serving on the submarine. Purchase Image This photo may be that of Joseph F. Ridgaway, who served as second in command aboard the Confederate submarine HL Hunley. It may be the only known photograph of any of the 21 men who died serving on the submarine. / photo by Brice Stump
Written by Brice Stump

SALISBURY — After 150 years, Joseph Ridgaway, one of the eight crewmen aboard the Confederate submarine HL Hunley, who went down with the sub soon after sinking a Union war ship in 1864, may have a photograph to go with his name and remains.­

A copy of a 2½-by-3½-inch tintype photograph, believed to date to about 1860, is in the process of being examined by members of the Friends of the Hunley in Charleston, S.C., where the submarine, raised in 2000 off the coast of Charleston, is being conserved.­

Kept for almost 25 years in small cardboard box, owner Mark Jeffrey of New Bedford, Mass., said he didn’t know the names of the four men in the tintype, but believed they were his ancestors. The photograph came down through the family to him from Mary Elizabeth Ridgaway, the crewman’s sister. Jeffrey is the great-great-nephew of Joseph Ridgaway.

Years later, that photo ended up in my hands.

Continue reading "Confederate submariner" »

Barefoot Confederates

Barefoot Confederates? -Hardly - Shelby Foote’s Favorite Civil War Photograph

Ephraim Blevins, John Baldwin and Andrew Blevins (Ephraim’s father), left to right, posed for a photo by Matthew Brady after they were captured at the Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863.

In one of the most famous photographs of the Civil War, three captured Confederate soldiers, likely from Louisiana, pose for Mathew Brady on Seminary Ridge following the Battle of Gettysburg. The extraordinary clarity of the image allows viewers to study the soldiers’ uniforms and accoutrements, but the historian Shelby Foote has focused more on their body language.

“You see something in his attitude toward the camera that’s revealing of his nature,” he told the filmmaker Ken Burns, “… as if he is having his picture made but he’s determined to be the individual that he is.” Other scholars have challenged this romantic view.

Continue reading "Barefoot Confederates" »

Cuba Libre


“Cuba Libre,” 1898-Union and Confederate Soldiers Shaking Hands-uniting the country against a common enemy and healing post–Civil War wounds-Photographed By Former Civil War Soldier Fitz Guerin 

Guerin fought under Generals Sherman, Lyon, and Grant and won the Congressional Medal of Honor for bravery in combat on April 28 & 29, 1863. During the war he came into contact with photographers and developed a fascination with the art.

Published in America’s Yesterdays, p. 247, this photo, which looks opague and surreal to modern audiences, is actually a piece of propaganda for the Spanish-American War. In the late 19th century, newspapers praised this “splendid little war” for uniting the country against a common enemy and healing post–Civil War wounds. Born in Dublin, Guerin emigrated to New York as a child and became deeply patriotic; he joined the Union army at the age of 15 and fought for the duration of the war. At 17, he volunteered for what was thought to be a suicide mission aboard “a cranky little Steamer, the Cheeseman,” which broke apart in the Mississippi. He and his comrades stood on what was left of the deck, shells and grapeshot flying around them, holding their position until backup arrived. They received Medals of Honor from Congress for their bravery.

During the quarter century of Guerin’s time in business, the majority of his income came from society portraiture. He and J.C. Strauss dominated the St. Louis market. Celebrity portraiture was a sidelight to his business and an opportunity to experiment with posing. Because of the survival of trove of Guerin’s popular genre images in the Library of Congress, however, this component of his business has recently taken on a particular importance among historians of photography.

From: The Civil War Parlor on Tumblr

Atlanta, Georgia, Railroad Yard

Ironic, isn't it??? Along with two car loads of Rebel prisoners, Federal troops prepare to evacuate Atlanta with a brand new fire pumping wagon, a hose wagon and a hand pumping unit. Oh, how these could have been used to save the city! George N. Barnard, official photographer of the Chief Engineer's Office captured many scenes US Army activities in the city before it was destroyed.

From the Center for Civil War Photography, on Face Book

General Hooker's men

Rare Gallery Card-Staged Civil War Roughhousing Scene w/ General Hooker’s Men

3 x 4” photo by Gardner & Gibson, 1862 copyright. This scarce image pictures General Hooker’s staff in a “staged roughhousing” scene. The men are identified from left as “unidentified, Col. Benjamin C. Ludlow, Lt. Col. Joseph Dickinson, Captain Ulric Dahlgren, Lt. Ronald S. Mackenzie, Lt. Col. Edward R. Warner, Major Daniel Webster Flagler, Captain Henry Russell, and Captain John R. Rose. Source : Railsplitter