Civil War Soldier Photographs

When the Civil War erupted, the new medium of photography had only been in existence for a little over twenty years. The daguerreotype had emerged as the most common early photographic type, but each image was unique (a positive image rather than a negative) and proved to be a challenge to reproduce. Most of the Civil War photographers were accustomed to working with daguerreotypes; one scholar notes that “the roots of Civil War photography came out of the daguerreian era and coursed through the lives of the men who made the pictures” (Zeller 5).