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Faces of the Confederacy, An Album of Southern Soldiers and Their Stories

By David Neville
Military Images Magazine
May/June 2009

In 2004 Ronald Coddington published Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories, the well-received predecessor of this present volume. This time Confederates images take center stage, a total of 77 incredibly rare portraits of Southern soldiers in uniform illustrating the volume. Every photograph bears an identification, and as a result each soldier depicted is the subject of a deeply researched, well written, biographical sketch. Many of the photographs — all in the carte-de-visite format — have never before been published, the majority drawn from privately held collections of Confederate images. Wisely, the publisher has seen fit to print the entire book on glossy stock, thus ensuring that the reproduction quality of these historically important images is top notch. The photograph of each of the 77 soldiers featured in this volume occupy a page in themselves, followed mostly by a two or three page biography. The layout is eye-pleasing, and a reader could easily read the entire book in just a sitting or two. Author Ron Coddington's writing style is very readable, and he succeeds in telling a good story about each of the books 77 subjects. Most importantly, these stories are not the often told ones of famous Confederate leaders like General Lee, Stonewall Jackson, or J.E.B. Stuart, but of enlisted men and lower ranking officers, whose life stories deserve to be heard by this generation of American history and Civil War readers.

Faces of the Confederacy is a fine effort from a talented researcher and writer and comes highly recommended.

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