Civil War Portraits and the LOC

A second post about the Library of Congress this week.  The library has recently made a large number of Civil War portraits available online.  You can view the images via the library’s Flickr channel or through their own website.

The images are from the 700 piece ambrotype and tintype collection recently donated to the library by the Liljenquist family.  You can read more about the donation itself here.

As a researcher, my interest is in the images as objects of history.  We get to see not only the images, but also the frames.  You have family groupings, individuals, civilians and soldiers.  Some are heart-breakingly serious while others are eerily frivolous.  What are the stories behind these images?  Surely you and I could come up with a couple of dozen story ideas here alone.