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The Mom Tapes (excerpt), by Ilene Segalove

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[Union Soldier in Dress Coat, Seated, before Painted Backdrop (left); Union Soldier in Winter Overcoat, Standing, in Full Marching Order (right)]

Unknown (American)

Date:
1861–65
Medium:
Ambrotype; tintype
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Collection of Philip and Jennifer Maritz
  • Description

    In this double-portrait case, the tinted, "sunburned" cheeks and vacant look of the soldier at right suggest he has already witnessed firsthand the killing fields. He appears to have been to the abyss and back. In period jargon, he has "seen the elephant."

  • Signatures, Inscriptions, and Markings

    Inscription: Paper note found behind left portrait inscribed in ink: "H.W. Coe // House in // Durham"

302121

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