Web Faces of War




About the cover carte

The cover image selected by The Johns Hopkins University Press is an identified soldier, Sgt. William Crawford Smith of the Twelfth Virginia Infantry. His story appears on pages 151-153 in the book. The choice of this carte de visite contrasts with Union Faces, which features an unidentified soldier to represent the millions of volunteers who served. Although this portrait is of a known soldier, Sgt. Smith's likeness is representative of the men who enlisted in the Confederate armies after the opening shots were fired at Fort Sumter, South Carolina.

Sgt. Smith stands in the studio of E.S. Lumpkin (life dates unknown) & Co., of Richmond, Virginia, grasping a battle flag in his right hand and holding a forage cap in the other hand. He apears to be dressed in his best uniform, complete with tassles, matching buttons, and a fine leather waist belt. His footwear is little worn, and his leggings are clean and unfrayed. The pristine quality of his clothing and the flag suggests that this photograph was taken soon after the end of the war. Lumpkin or an employee tinted the flag and other elements of his uniform. Although this black and white reproduction does not capture the added color, the careful observer will note the saturated tones and sharp edges of the banner.

This stunning portrait is part of the William A. Turner collection. Bill's contribution to the book is enormous. Almost half the cartes pictured on its pages come from his holdings. Turner is a pioneer collector and dealer who possess a vast amount of knowledge about Civil War photography and Virginia images in particular. Many of my favorite moments during the course of this project involve chatting with Bill in person and by telephone about a wide range of topics.

Cover carte Confederate

facebook_logo facebook_logo   flickr_logo