Most of the ambrotypes and tintypes in the Liljenquist collection are by anonymous photographers. Unsigned photographs were typical during this time period. For a list of identified photographers, casemakers, and related names, see Contributor index.
Some soldiers visited photographic studios before they left for the war, leaving their portrait at home with loved ones. Others sat for itinerant photographers who set up temporary studios near the army camps. Tintypes were fairly durable and could be sent home in a letter.
Photography studios often posed their clients in front of painted backdrops. These backdrops may provide clues to the identity of the photographic studio. Photographer Enoch Long, who worked at Benton Barracks in St. Louis, Missouri, is known for using this painted backdrop of a Civil War scene.
Confederate photographer Charles R. Rees is represented in the collection by more than 20 ambrotypes. Rees operated a studio in Richmond, Virginia, during the Civil War. He was one of the few photographers who signed his images directly on the glass plate.
Royan M. Linn and J. Birney Linn set up their studio at Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Here they photographed the western Union armies before the advance on Atlanta.