Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
This child's face is worth any 1,000 words glued together. She seems a little pre-war or at least very early, man in photo may not be a soldier. Little girls lost fathers, more between 1861 and 1865 than we'd ever conceived when all the flag waving started. This practice associated with mourning may not have been traditional ( it takes generations for something to qualify, little hard when photography was brand, new ), it sure left us images of pain. We don't have to told this man was her father, recently gone from a little girl's life. Her eyes fill us in on that void.
Better known image we know is from the war. Yes, a dreadful moment to witness; point is what this country endured, North and South. There are no degrees of right or wrong who did what and when and do-overs on pain. We shattered each other at our deepest level. These images make us remember that.
The war left us ample evidence of its visible pain as family members vanished. You do not have to guess, you know- somewhere smack in the middle of the war some family member marched to war. Faded and indistinct, this woman's face is still horrifyingly revealing. A soldier's warm arm surrounds her, but will she one day have two images in her lap?
Intent is not to tug anyone's heartstrings. It's to bring us closer to our past and the ancestors we can't meet. Smitten by romantic images, floating belles in hoops, mid Victorian mansions and noble steeds, with words like ' gallant ' and ' dashing ' occluding History, too easy to gloss over what it was.
He may have been a husband lost in the war, fashion points to early in the war if so. Has a Southern feel, don't ask me why since fashion was the same all over.
They didn't come home. That's the bottom line.
And I'm not sure it matters which image these widows show us are Union and which Confederate husbands, they're all widows. Someone's worst day ever times 620,000.
There's more, saving for another day. Tough thread to work on.