Faces of the Confederacy: An Album of Southern Soldiers and Their Storiesby Ronald S. Coddington
"The history of the Civil War is the stories of its soldiers," writes Ronald S. Coddington in the preface to Faces of the Confederacy. This book tells the stories of seventy-seven Southern soldiersyoung farm boys, wealthy plantation owners, intellectual elites, uneducated poorwho posed for photographic portraits, cartes de visite, to leave/i>/i>
"The history of the Civil War is the stories of its soldiers," writes Ronald S. Coddington in the preface to Faces of the Confederacy. This book tells the stories of seventy-seven Southern soldiersyoung farm boys, wealthy plantation owners, intellectual elites, uneducated poorwho posed for photographic portraits, cartes de visite, to leave with family, friends, and sweethearts before going off to war. Coddington, a passionate collector of Civil War–era photography, conducted a monumental search for these previously unpublished portrait cards, then unearthed the personal stories of their subjects, putting a human face on a war rife with inhuman atrocities.
The Civil War took the lives of 22 of every 100 men who served. Coddington follows the exhausted survivors as they return home to occupied cities and towns, ravaged farmlands, a destabilized economy, and a social order in the midst of upheaval. This book is a haunting and moving tribute to those brave men.
Like its companion volume, Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories, this book offers readers a unique perspective on the war and contributes to a better understanding of the role of the common soldier.
Coddington (columnist, Civil War News), described as a "visual journalist," has already published Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soliders and Their Stories. Now he presents an equally absorbing compilation of 77 images of common soldiers who posed for photographs to leave with loved ones as they themselves went to fight for the Confederacy. Each entry consists of a full-page photograph and a two-page biography, culled from considerable research by the author. These were generally ordinary men who, for reasons they considered sufficient, answered the call to arms in the South. Readers learn that some survived the war and went on to varied careers. Many did not. Libraries with significant Civil War collections will want this.
Edwin B. Burgess
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Publication date:
- Edition description:
- Product dimensions:
- 5.80(w) x 8.60(h) x 0.80(d)
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are saying about this
Ron Coddington has produced a fine new volume that will take its place beside William A. Albaugh's Confederate Faces and several other Confederate photographic histories. Faces of the Confederacy continues the tradition of publishing Confederate soldier portraits, but instead of the standard fare of somewhat small photographs and brief captions, he provides us with full page pictures and the thoroughly researched stories of each individual depicted, widening our understanding of these men far beyond the normal presentation. In the world of Civil War photography, it is rare to find something that is truly new, but this book fits that bill.
Les Jensen, West Point Museum
Ronald S. Coddington has scored a masterpiece again. As a follow-up to his much applauded Faces of the Civil War featuring Union soldiers and sailors, he has authored a sequel. This time Confederates are center stage as they proudly pose for the all-important cartes de visite that are as treasured today by collectors and buffs as by their home folks and comrades of long ago. Complementing these are biographical profiles that inform but do not overwhelm, reminding us that each haunting face is a real person who lived, served and died many years ago.
Edwin C. Bearss, National Park Service
Meet the Author
Ronald S. Coddington is a visual journalist whose work has appeared in USA Today, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and the San Jose Mercury News. He writes a monthly column, "Faces of War," for The Civil War News and is the author of Faces of the Civil War: An Album of Union Soldiers and Their Stories, also published by Johns Hopkins.
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