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Glimpses of Soldiers' Lives (Liljenquist Collection)

Prints and Photographs Division


Looking directly into the faces of the people who fought the Civil War is a great doorway into history. This set of essays offers glimpses of the lives of particular soldiers—what they ate and whom they missed, how far they marched in the mud, when they were wounded or captured or at last discharged.  The essays are shaped by both traces and holes in the historical record and are far from complete.  But from a name and a regiment, and sometimes a letter or drawing, pension record or poem, something of these men's stories can be gleaned.1 The portraits are all in the Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs.

Information about the soldiers comes from:

  • documents in the Liljenquist collection, many of which were acquired with the photographs
  • published histories of the Civil War and Civil War regiments
  • the American Civil War Research Database, a subscription resource available on site at the Library of Congress
  • records at the National Archives.

The biographies are accompanied by relevant photographs and drawings from Library of Congress collections that depict where individuals fought or were imprisoned.

Click on a soldier's name to read his story. For more information about the photos themselves, follow the links in the essays to the descriptions in the online catalog.


1 Cautionary note: In some cases, the soldiers' name came from a note found with the photo. We can't be absolutely sure that the photo shows that person unless a second portrait is found. We're making an assumption.

Compiled by: Ann Tyler Moses, Liljenquist Family Fellow, 2012. Last updated 2012 July.
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  September 15, 2016
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