Haunting Civil War portraits

Lauren Hansen, Sarah Eberspacher
The WeekNovember 19, 2013

Two minutes. That's all the time it took for President Abraham Lincoln to deliver his 271-word Gettysburg Address, a speech as famous for its quiet eloquence as its groundbreaking brevity.

But to whom did he speak? Above all, Lincoln was addressing the soldiers on both sides of this terrible war. Men, old and young, listened to the president outline what — and for whom — they were fighting. It was a solemn address for a solemn time.

SEE ALSO: How to buy an engagement ring — a man's guide

Below, is a selection of soldier and family portraits, still in their ornate, keepsake frames. For many of the men, these tiny, palm-sized ambrotypes might have been their first and last representation. The set-ups were meant to capture what the men held dear as they went off to battle — whether a lock of a loved-ones hair or a photo of the comrades by their side.

View photos

SEE ALSO: What Orgasm Wars reveals about Japan's sexual culture


View photos
View photos

SEE ALSO: 4 lessons to consider before you quit the corporate world

View photos


View photos

SEE ALSO: Why you should pay attention to the Lily Allen–Miley Cyrus feminist feud

View photos


View photos