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The Civil War Wounded in Photographs

The Civil War Wounded in Photographs

Seated in profile, the young men pose as they would for family portraits. On closer inspection of the oval gold-lined frames, the serene faces are scarred, bald spots divided by deep canyon-like cuts, shoulders swollen around bullet craters. These are the “after” photos, taken after the men had left their homes to fight for the Union or the Confederacy, and after they were wounded, carrying the scars of the American Civil War for the rest of their lives.“This is one moment in this person’s life,” said Heidi Knoblauch, a doctoral candidate in the History of Medicine program, who is examining Yale’s collection of 98 photographs taken during the Civil War at Harewood Army Hospital in Washington, D.C. “To piece...

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