Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
It's not always the obvious photos misidentified for the obvious reasons. This snip is of a young woman at Brandy Station's hospital. She's all over the place on the internet as Cornelia Hancock, our Quaker nurse who left us agonizing accounts of her war. This isn't she. Why is that important? Because once we get sloppy about History it's all up for grabs.
Yes, it's been discussed previously. There's another thread or 6. The thing is, browsing Pinterest there seem to be more every day and worse, they get shared. Some you can track back to websites, some seem invented just for that site. Heck, the photo of Grant at City Point that LoC has devoted a page to, pointing out it's not real is there. Times 200. Just because someone isn't around anymore to object doesn't mean we get to run riot with their images- hence their lives. A few have shown up here on CWT, their ' discoverer ' hoping to cash in for instance by insisting we all agree ' Yep, yep, that's sure Lincoln and he's still dead '. Maybe a few others are just honestly mistaken. A thread here as a kind of repository may be helpful. For instance how do I know that isn't Cornelia? Beyond surviving photos indicating clearly nope, not the same person, she tells us. It's not always that easy, sometimes easier- like one of my favorites- Pinterest.
Clothing here is around 1890. Thomas Lincoln was born in 1778. He died in 1851. So a little easy. I'm not sure we require documentation proving this isn't Thomas Lincoln, seems a waste. While I'm here, era fashion, what people wore is an awfully good indication of date and something we should really pay a lot of attention to. Styles changed hugely just between 1864 and 1866 for instance- it may not seem important but is sure helpful when it comes to narrowing down dates. In 1864 we were still at war, by 1866 we were gluing ourselves back together.
It's heckishly difficult digging for truth in the first place and striking gold. There's an awful lot of struck tin out there. In the interest of History, a patient reconstruction of facts, genuinely reconstructing photos through examining them seems necessary, no? Asking for contributions and help, too. I have a file stuffed with these things, just added two. It's not smug to insist on our own accuracy- it's History and it's all we've got.
Lincoln is the most popular target, poor guy- which tends to drag Mary along. Here's the thing. Ford's Theater the night of April 14th 1865 Mary Todd Lincoln's life was shattered by a shot- she'd been holding her husband's hand while they talked about where they'd like to go someday. Jerusalem, he said. Then he was gone, his blood and brains on her lap. DO we get to do this to her, or the tragic Rathbones, or the boys who lost that kind, funny father?
That's also Booth sneaking up behind them. Like someone in Ford's audience that night just happened to catch this on her smart phone. I'm trying to not be snarky but it's hard.
They've been at this for awhile. Library of Congress's wonderful photo investigation of Grant at City Point probably catches Brady's nephew contributing to convoluted History. It's an awesome article.
" By learning to question what you see in photographs you can become a better history detective ", from the link. They're being kind. We can put History back where it belongs. It's not easy, profitable or popular. For various reasons folks love clinging to dug-in positions but it's worth it or like I said, it's all up for grabs.
The photo is era and meant to portray nurses of the war but JUST portray. They were dressed to portray nurses, at a Sanitary Commission Fair. I'm unsure those uniforms ever made it to a battlefield ( or any other ) hospital. The women may have, we do not know who they were. Dix would have blown a gasket. Photo still makes the rounds as ' Civil War Nurses '.
It isn't as prevalent on Ebay now ( it's possible sending pointed emails to sellers was helpful ) but the damage was done- this stuff spreads. Some nice, era family photograph was listed as ' slaves ', something that you saw allllll the time. Because the family was black. And it's an old image. And it's obviously just another awfully proud pair of parents and an unimpressed baby ( babies are always unimpressed by cameras, why? )
I'm adverse to posting post mortem photos on the grounds these were private images intended for private mourning during the worst moments a family endured-we've seen a few ' Lincoln post mortem ' photos. For some reason cashing in on a murdered man is trendy and worse, those images are all over the internet. There's IS one, soldiers on watch over his open coffin, that's it.
Lee doesn't escape although this doesn't seem to have caught on ( thankfully ). No idea who he was although bet a good military historian could at least narrow the field.
Intent of thread is to be explanatory and cover misidentifications, honest mistakes, photo shopped images, deliberate deceptions and opportunistic presentations- and use as many facts required as possible to bring the conversation back to History.Above photo may not require more than " Gosh, it looks nothing like Robert E. Lee. "
This now famous one, the Lincoln Wedding photo, tomorrow. Two different photos, taken by different photographers glued together.