”The dead continue to live by way of the resurrection we give them in telling their stories” -Stories of Real Human Beings Make History Powerful, Photographs Make it Immediate.
A Blog Remembering the Men and Women of the American Civil War, North & South, people, faces, and a unique culture we will never see again. Photos and stories about the people that lived it, including African American Photographs, pre civil war photos and the period in cultural history that began just after the civil war. The historical info, photos and documents in this blog reflect the attitudes, perspectives, and beliefs of different times. This blog does not endorse the views expressed in some posts, which may contain materials offensive to some readers, you cannot compare the beliefs and ethical values of the people of the 1800's to the standards of today.
Every effort is taken to remember the men and women of the Union and Confederacy equally with dignity and respect.
The events of the war, and the men of the war, are fast fading from the public attention. Its history is growing to be an “Old, Old Story.” Public interest is weakening day by day. The memory of march, and camp, and battle-field, of the long and manly endurance, of the superb and uncomplaining courage, of the mass of sacrifice that redeemed the Nation, is fast dying out. Those who rejoice in the liberty and peace secured by the soldier’s suffering and privation, accept the benefits, but deny or forget the benefactor-1877 National Tribune.
“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.