Saturday, February 21, 2015

A Proud Widow

I came across this image in the Library of Congress collection tonight and thought I'd share it. It really seemed to grab my attention at first glance, but upon closer inspection more details became apparent.

This unidentified woman, obviously a widow in mourning attire, holds what appears to be her son, who wears a soldier's cap. The woman proudly wears a photograph necklace of what I assume is her deceased husband and the child's father.

This single image summarizes so much of what the Civil War meant to those that experienced it. Despite not knowing which side this woman sympathized with, and her husband fought for, it vividly reminds us of the loss that the war meant for so many families. She first lost her husband to the army, and then she lost him to death. The first separation hoped to be temporary, the second was realized to be permanent. However, this photograph also shows us that people, both North and South, were proud of their families' service and sacrifice and wished to immortalize it for posterity.

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