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

by Ronald S. Coddington, Johns Hopkins University Press

Ronald Coddington’s new book is the rare combination of good research, visual entertainment and a smooth and interesting narrative voice. It also provides a reader-friendly means to learn more about cartes de visite, the “small…standard form of cheap photographic portraits” of the time.

Each CDV is reproduced on heavy coated paper and is accompanied by a biographical sketch. The individual entries can be read within a few moments. Yet each CDV is a world in and of itself, allowing curious 21stcentury voyeurs to catch glimpses of Civil War characters brought to life by diligent research.

Coddington’s book reminds us that the face of war never really changes, and that conflict never comes at a convenient moment for anyone.


Originally published in the June 2009 issue of Civil War Times. To subscribe, click here