Mistaken Identity?

Two court-martial cases that arose at the end of the Civil War—one in Albany, N.Y., and the other in Springfield, Ill.—reveal how some litigants relied on more than the spoken word to determine identity. The cases of Simon Burke and William Gemmill, both tried in September 1865, used photographs as a key method to identify suspected deserters.

To learn more, access “Mistaken Identity? Early Use of Photographic Evidence in Two Court-Martial Case for Desertion” by Elena Colón-Marrero in the Autumn 2015 issue of Military Images magazine.

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