From 1861 to 1865, the US was embroiled in a monumental civil war that pitted countrymen against each other in a struggle that would change the nation's history forever. Thanks to the generous donation of the Liljenquist family, the Library of Congress is now home to over 1,000 ambrotypes taken during the American Civil War. The rare photographs depict not only Union and Confederate soldiers, but also the families, friends, pets, and personal belongings of the young men who fought to protect their ways of life.
“Have you ever seen a photograph of a person you knew you would never forget?” Brandon Liljenquist, one of the collection's donors, wrote. “These were the young men who did most of the fighting and dying. In their eyes and the eyes of their loved ones, I could see the full range of human emotion. It was all here: the bravado, the fear, the readiness, the weariness, the pride and the anguish.”
See the full collection at the Library of Congress.