Mystery of the Girls in the Tintypes
Civil War soldiers lost many personal belongings while they were on the march or engaged in battle. Remnants are still turning up at old campsites and battlefields, such as buttons, belt buckles, horses’ bits, coins, and weaponry. Most are decayed and rusty, but occasionally, something turns up that someone has preserved or saved for further investigation.
Such is the case of the mysterious tintype photos. Tintypes were inexpensive photographs used during that time period. Because photography was in its infancy, everyone wanted to have their likeness duplicated so that it could be passed down to generations. Photographers such as Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner made names for themselves as wartime photographers. After the Battle of Gettysburg, one photograph turned up of three small children, and after much publicity, the widow of the soldier who was killed carrying the picture was found. The money raised helped to bring about Orphan’s Homes.
Now the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond, Virginia is trying to trace the descendants of two girls who appear in separate photos. The museum is also releasing six other photographs. This is a fascinating project, and it would be amazing if some of the children’s descendants were found. For more information, check out: