“An Eagle On His Button”: How Martial Portraiture Affirmed African American Citizenship in the Civil War

by James Brookes

I recently had a short article I wrote on the visual symbolism of African Americans in military uniform during the Civil War published on the U.S. Studies Online network, run by the British Association for American Studies. The piece provides an insight into how African Americans viewed their military service as an opportunity to establish their role as citizens in the United States, and how we can see this affirmed through photographic portraiture. Please click here to view the article.

Long, Enoch, ‘Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with a rifle and revolver in front of painted backdrop showing weapons and American flag at Benton Barracks, Saint Louis, Missouri’, 1863-1865, quarter-plate tintype, hand-coloured, Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs (Library of Congress), http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.36456/?co=lilj, (accessed 18/10/2014)

 Long, Enoch, ‘Unidentified African American soldier in Union uniform with a rifle and revolver in front of painted backdrop showing weapons and American flag at Benton Barracks, Saint Louis, Missouri’, 1863-1865, quarter-plate tintype, hand-coloured, Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Photographs (Library of Congress), http://www.loc.gov/pictures/resource/ppmsca.36456/?co=lilj, (accessed 18/10/2014)

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