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Civil War Faces – New Additions

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The following is a guest post by Helena Zinkham, Chief, Prints & Photographs Division.

“You know the generals. Now meet the young men who made them famous.”

Unidentified soldier in Confederate infantry uniform with musket and Bowie knife. Quarter-plate ambrotype by unidentified photographer, 1861-65.

That’s how Tom Liljenquist describes the special collection of rare portrait photographs that he continues to build at the Library of Congress to commemorate the American Civil War.

In the online catalog, you can easily see images of the most recent additions of fascinating new photos that expand this remarkable collection every few months. You can also explore the collection from the viewpoint of Union images and Confederate images. Or, search for a subject of your own choosing, such as African Americans, women, a type of weapon, a state name, a photographer’s name, or even the title of a book where an image was published.

The Liljenquist Family Collection is dedicated “In memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the 620,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War, 1861-1865.”  The original gift of Liljenquist Collection photographs began with an impressive array of 600 ambrotypes and tintypes in 2010. Two years later, almost 1,000 photographs are freely available online for use in classrooms, publications, and family history projects. Keep your eye out – more photographs are coming!

Private Edward A. Cary of Company I, 44th Virginia Infantry Regiment, in uniform and his sister, Emma J. Garland née Cary. Sixth-plate ambrotype by Charles Rees, 1861-62.


Private Henry McCollum of Company B, 78th Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment and three unidentified soldiers in 78th Pennsylvania Infantry uniforms at Point Lookout, Tennessee. Quarter-plate tintype by Royan Linn, 1863?
















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Comments (2)

  1. This collection is a rich source of photographs of ordinary people which can bring home to students the human element of the Civil War. We have made extensive use of them – thanks to the hard work of the Library of Congress – in the California History-Social Science Project’s History Blueprint Civil War unit.

  2. I’m so thrilled to see this collection as it comes up online! As you can imagine, I have a particular interest in these photographs. ~Nerd Girl

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