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African-American Union Soldier

African-American Union soldier against a painted backdrop, between 1860 and 1870. Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, LOC # LC-USZ62-132204.

Many soldiers during the Civil War had their pictures taken by travelling photographers who would set up a tent in the soldiers’ camps. It is likely that this unidentified African-American soldier had his picture taken by one such photographer – the backdrop is a painted one, hung from a rope, and the floor is dirt. This is not a permanent photographer’s studio.

One wonders what prompted  the soldier to have his picture taken. Was it the novelty of it? Was it for someone? A sweetheart or a parent? No one knows. Perhaps that is what makes so many of these pictures haunting in their own way – the unknown stories behind them.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 11:27 (11:27 am) and is filed under Daily Public Domain Image, Images from other sites. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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