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  • Penny Gruber

    ca. 1860s, [tintype portrait of two Federal soldiers playing the violin] via Heritage Auctions

  • Laura Bray

    People in these early pictures never smiled. But this guy on the right - he has a little grin. I'm thinking he was a character.

Related Pins

ca. 1860’s, [Tintype portrait of three federal soldiers enjoying hardtack and coffee] via Heritage Auctions


ca. 1860’s, [tintype portrait of a Union infantryman with regulation uniform] via Heritage Auctions

Looks like a soldier who didn't return alive. Can't see the stand, but his eyes are painted on. He shows no response to his daughter's holding his hand, either.

  • Marti West

    You're right, Lalalana. It's an epidemic around here. Everyone thinks there's a dead person in every old picture, and if they don't see one, they make them up. I wouldn't believe anything on pinterest, ebay, etsy or some blogs. If people would just use their heads (like you did!), maybe some of the idiocy would stop.

  • Marti West

    I have a friend who knows much more than I do concerning fake PM's, and she has a board for just that.

  • Jean Fejes

    I didn't write the comment! This should have gone under vintage. Sorry.

  • Marti West

    I know you didn't write it, Jean, but it's a perfect example of how these fake PM's travel so fast. I used to repin, too, but now I know that I have to read the caption before I pin it.

  • Susan Cantrell

    FYI... the dad in this photo is not a soldier. He is wearing the uniform of a telegraphy operator or railroad worker. Any soldier sent home dead from the Civil War would NEVER look this good. The man is alive and so is his family.

See all 7 comments

Lieutenant John Baptist Smith, born Caswell County, NC 19 Sept 1843, enlisted as a private with the Milton Blues on 15 April 1861, when he was 17. In April 1862, he transferred to the Signal Corps. By 1864, he was commissioned lieutenant & given command of the Corps. In 1865 Lieutenant Smith's men were the last to leave Petersburg, crossing the last bridge as it burned. They served as a rear guard for General Lee's army, and were present at Appomattox Court House.

A lovely Victorian musician posing for a studio portrait. #Victorian #portrait #musician

civil war soldier. I think this is a lieutenant given the bars on his shoulder...

This was also a part of the 1960's. American Infantry taking time to enjoy those groovy C-Rats. Soldier Chow taken in a defensive trench during the Vietnam War. While the rest of us played, surfed, went to church or not, ate t.v. dinners, and watched the Apollo Astronauts prepare to land on the moon... while they were there ... we were someplace else. Sorta like today ...

Civil War soldier from California. Probably embalmed and photographed after getting killed in battle. Close examination shows a barely-visible stand behind his feet holding him up. Left hand is in unnatural position, and face is devoid of any expression.

  • Randi Lynn

    The stand was used to keep the head of the person from moving around while the film was exposed, otherwise a shift or movement would cause a blurry photo. It took longer back then for the image to be captured on film so stands helped with fidgety kids and in this case fidgety adults..

  • Donna Holcomb

    They were also warned not to change expression - so face and hand could be accounted to that.

  • Tim Bumb

    The exposure were something like 8 seconds and they rarely, if ever, smiled. I have no idea why so many people of today think all these people in old photos are dead! Some are, but not every single one!


Photography:CDVs, Absolutely One Of The Most Moving Civil War Images - Symbolic Carte-De-Visite Of A Federal Soldier with His young Cause of Abolition.