Earlier this year, I shared the mid-19th c. photograph of an ancestor of mine whose identity is uncertain beyond being family. Now the Library of Congress has a similar, if much larger, puzzle, and they're asking for your assistance to solve at least part of it.
Recently the Lijenquist Family donated their collection of almost 700 ambrotype and tintype photographs to the Library of Congress in remembrance of the thousands of Union and Confederate soldiers who served in the American Civil War (1861-1865). The images are nearly all of soldiers, as well as a few of their families. These pictures offer an immediate connection to the past: the subjects stare directly from the pictures, carefully posed for posterity in what, for many of them, must have been both their first and last portraits.
But over the years, many of the names of these young soldiers have been forgotten and lost. The Library of Congress has posted this album of the pictures on Flickr, hoping that viewers will be able to help offer names to match these brave faces. Can you help?
Above: Unidentified young soldier in Confederate uniform and Hardee hat with holstered revolver and artillery saber, Library of Congress
There’s a big difference in how we use history. But we’re equally nuts about it. To us, the everyday details of life in the past are things to talk about, ponder, make fun of -- much in the way normal people talk about their favorite reality show.
We talk about who’s wearing what and who’s sleeping with whom. We try to sort out rumor or myth from fact. We thought there must be at least three other people out there who think history’s fascinating and fun, too. This blog is for them.