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[Union Infantry Soldier Wearing Light-Colored Overcoat with Short Cape]

Unknown (American)

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

    In this harrowing sixth-plate ambrotype, a Union infantry soldier wearing a light-colored overcoat and short cape crosses his arms and gives a look to the camera that is filled with pain and emptiness. It recalls a frequently cited passage from Walt Whitman’s collection of wartime essays, Specimen Days: “Future years will never know the seething hell and the black infernal background of countless minor scenes and interiors, (not the official surface-courteousness of the Generals, not the few great battles) of the Secession war; and it is best they should not—the real war will never get in the books.”

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