The Civil War was a fiery prism at the center of American society. Every life entered the prism at its own angle and was refracted in its own way. Freed slaves smile for the camera amidst the ruins of Richmond in Library of Congress The lives of Southern black people changed immeasurably during the war years.
Handler and Michael L. This falsified or fabricated photo, purporting to be of the 1st Louisiana Native Guards Confederatehas been taken to promote Neo-Confederate views, to accuse Union propagandists of duplicity, and to show that black soldiers were involved in the armed defense of the Confederacy.
As of the date of this website this photograph is being sold on the web by an on-line retailer, www. We know nothing of this group, but it may have formed part of a unit that had been recently formed in the union army . By June of that year, a committee of prominent Philadelphians had been appointed to raise black regiments.
The white officers commanding the troops were trained under the auspices of the Free Military School for the Command of Colored Troops established in Philadelphia in Other embellishments and additions by the engraver to the original black and white photograph include the tent on the left, the federal flag, the mountainous background, the tree on the right, and the drummer boy.
Studio photograph taken in Philadelphia, probably in early Photograph, courtesy, James Spina see note 6.
Union Recruitment Poster see note 4. Courtesy, Library Company of Philadelphia. However, in its July issue, the widely read Civil War Times Illustrated published a copy of the original photograph which had been submitted to the magazine by James Spina, an antiques dealer who had purchased it years before.
The photograph published in the Civil War Times Illustrated was re-published in in the well-respected and accessible The Embattled Confederacy, the third volume in a monumental photographic history of the Civil War. If the Native Guards were good for anything, it was for public display; free blacks fighting for Southern rights made good copy for the newspapers.
Given the enormous number of publications and known photographs of Civil War soldiers, it is more than slightly curious that a photograph as striking as one showing armed black soldiers in the Confederate Army has apparently not surfaced in these publications, in the many books and websites devoted to Civil War imagery, or even in the enormous Civil War collections of the Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress.
Image Analysis Although we believe the circumstantial evidence is very strong, the case for falsification rests most solidly on a detailed comparison of photographs shown in Figures 3 and 4. A careful examination of these two photographs reveals that the alleged Louisiana Native Guards photo Figure 4 is a rather amateurish digital manipulation, most probably, as discussed above, of the photo published in either the Civil War Times Illustrated or The Embattled Confederacy volume Figure 3.
In either case, using Adobe Photoshop or a similar application, the image in Figure 3 was cropped the most obvious deletions, clearly visible to the naked eye, are the white officer and his sword along with the soldier standing immediately adjacent to him; and the door frame and part of the soldier on the right.
An examination of the foreground and background in Figure 4 reveals that the patterned floor and wall coverings visible in Figure 1 have been digitally erased or painted over. It stretches credulity to suppose that Confederate soldiers would be photographed wearing belt buckles of the Federal Army!
A sampling of a wide range of Civil War photographs has yielded none that contain superimposed text. On close examination, the text letters in Figure 4 is much sharper and clearer than the underlying image and does not exhibit the same quality loss as the photograph itself because it has not undergone successive analog and digital reproduction.
What is most telling, however, is that the text, which gives the impression of being a nineteenth-century style font, is, in fact, a modern font face named "Algerian".
The Algerian font, which has no lower case letters, has come bundled with multiple versions of Microsoft Word, including Word 95, Word 6.
Although the low-resolution text is not quite legible, the font face clearly contains both uppercase and lowercase letters.
The Algerian font used in the photo purchased from rebelstore. The lettering in the thumbnail image is another font style. This inconsistency suggests that the image has been manipulated at least twice, at least once while in the possession of www. The absence of these numbers in the image sold by www.
These numbers, which may have been some kind of catalog reference by the photographer, were hand-scratched on the emulsion side of the original glass plate negative; considerable search has failed to locate this original plate. We cannot determine when this falsification occurred, but it was done within the last decade or so - - judging from the presence of artifacts yielded by digital manipulation and the superimposition of a modern font face.
But from the earliest days of camera craft, photographers have been much more than mere recorders. At times, they can be outright masters of illusion. He is posing in a studio in front of a false backdrop to create the impression that the photograph was taken outdoors against a rustic wooden fence.
Notes 1 Author identifications: The views expressed in this paper are solely those of the authors. We are grateful to a number of persons whose assistance was extremely important. Phil Lapsansky read early drafts and helped with background information on the recruitment poster and other issues; William C.
Davis gave advice on substantive issues and also read an early draft; Andy Waskie helped with issues relating to African American troops in Philadelphia and Pennsylvania; Jason Bayers and Jama Courtney assisted with photographic comparisons, font identification, and photo digitization; Emilia Braun, Annis Steiner, and Luc Fatton provided research assistance on various matters.
Olson was of major assistance in locating James Spina, and we are particularly grateful to Spina for providing us with his copy of the original photograph and for answering a variety of questions concerning its background and how he initially obtained it. Blight, review of Confederate Emancipation: Army regulation light blue overcoat issued for winter wear, this photo must date to the winter ofprobably February or Marchafter the unit was organized" e-mail communication, Waskie to Handler, 5 February University Press of Virginia, ; Gregory J.
University Press of Kansas,Facts, information and articles about African Americans In The Civil War, from Black History. African Americans In The Civil War summary: African-Americans served in the in the Civil War on both the Union and Confederate side.
In the Union army, over , African American men served in over units, as well as more serving in the Navy and in support positions. The varied roles of women, African Americans, and the Descriptions of the Effects of the Civil War (CW), for this one specific image (one for each category for a Commission, helped soldiers, sewed uniforms, served as nurses, and fought in disguise as soldiers.
Many lost husbands and. May 30, · Watch video · After the Civil War broke out, abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass argued that the enlistment of black soldiers would help the North win the war and would be a huge step in the fight for. Jan 12, · The Civil War started with the Confederate shelling of Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, on April 12, Washington Territory was just under eight years old and more than a quarter century away from statehood.
Apr 09, · A Roundtable Discussion. On April 9, , Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union forces at Appomattox, putting an end to the bloodiest war in American history.
The American Civil War (also known by other names) was a war fought in the United States (U.S.) from to The Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in U.S.
history. Largely as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people, war broke out in April , when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina, shortly after.