[Unidentified soldier in Confederate uniform with knife and revolver]
Title devised by Library staff.
Case: Leather; curved octagon and scroll design.
Gift; Tom Liljenquist; 2012; (DLC/PP-2012:127).
More information about this collection is available at http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.lilj
Forms part of: Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs (Library of Congress).
Forms part of: Ambrotype/Tintype photograph filing series (Library of Congress).
The American Civil War was a civil war in the United States fought from 1861 to 1865. The Union faced secessionists in eleven Southern states grouped together as the Confederate States of America. The Confederate States Army was the military ground force of the Confederate States. Many Army's records have been destroyed, army soldiering was not a constant occupation - it was not unusual for soldiers to take a leave of absence to tend to their farms. It is a fair estimate, however, that soldiers counted between 750,000 to one million total. The Confederacy's volunteer or recruited soldiers were from many ethnic groups. Under the commands of Robert E. Lee and Samuel Cooper, soldiers of the Confederacy lived by the Motto “Deo Vindice” (God will vindicate us).
There are not many details distinguishing the Confederates from the Union soldiers in many of portrait photographs - they really were from the same country, the same culture. One of the differences that you do find is the less uniform appearance of Confederates: they are much less standard, often wearing bits and pieces of cast-off Union Army uniforms and often, even weaponry. One thing that’s specific to the Confederates is huge Bowie knives, humorously called ‘Arkansas toothpicks,’ often made by local blacksmiths.
More than 2,500 special portrait photographs, called ambrotypes and tintypes, and small card photos called cartes de visite represent both Union and Confederate soldiers during the American Civil War (1861-1865). Tom Liljenquist and his sons Jason, Brandon, and Christian built this collection in memory of President Abraham Lincoln and the estimated 620,000-850,000 Union and Confederate servicemen who died in the American Civil War. For many, these photographs are the last known record we have of who they were and what they looked like. See "From the Donor's Perspective--The Last Full Measure" for the full story. The Liljenquist Family began donating their collection to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division in 2010, and continues to add to it. In addition to the ambrotypes and tintypes, the collection also includes several manuscripts, patriotic envelopes, photographs on paper, and artifacts related to the Civil War. The portraits often show weapons, hats, canteens, musical instruments, painted backdrops, and other details that enhance the research value of the collection. Other photo topics include flags, city views, veterans, and ships. Among the rarest images are sailors, African Americans in uniform, Lincoln campaign buttons, and portraits of soldiers with their families and friends. LOC Prints & Photographs Division holds thousands of images relating to the Civil War, found in many different collections.