Military Images

Research Rabbit Hole: The Man Who Changed Photography

A new episode of Research Rabbit Hole, our Facebook Live show, premiered Monday evening, June 14, at 9 p.m. ET.

Season 1, Episode 11, begins in London in 1855, and travels back in time to the origins of photography and the great Daguerre. But he’s not the only mover and shaker who influenced “sun pictures” in the 19th century. In this episode, you’ll meet an inventor who dreamed of a different future for photography—and made it come true.

The full season is available on YouTube.

New episodes of Research Rabbit Hole premier every two weeks on our Facebook page. The host, Ronald S. Coddington, is Editor and Publisher of Military Images.

Research Rabbit Hole: Memorial Day at Arlington

A new episode of Research Rabbit Hole, our Facebook Live show, premiered Monday afternoon, May 31, at 3 p.m. ET.

Season 1, Episode 10, marks Memorial Day with a live event from Arlington National Cemetery. The focal point of the episode is the grave marker in Section 13, Plot 10500: James Downey of the 2nd Ohio Cavalry, who suffered a mortal wound at the Battle of Five Forks on April 1, 1865, and succumbed to his injury on April 26. He is one of the 750,000 Civil War dead, which equates to 7.5 million in today’s population.

The full season is available on YouTube.

New episodes of Research Rabbit Hole premier every two weeks on our Facebook page. The host, Ronald S. Coddington, is Editor and Publisher of Military Images.

Research Rabbit Hole: Backdrop Business

A new episode of Research Rabbit Hole, our Facebook Live show, premiered Monday evening, May 3, at 9 p.m. ET.

Season 1, Episode 9, is focused on backdrops, one of the great clues to help trace the photographers who used them—and, with a little grit, determination, and luck, maybe identifying the unknown face looking back at you. But where did photographers get those backdrops? We’ll shed some light on this question.

The full season is available on YouTube.

New episodes of Research Rabbit Hole premier every two weeks on our Facebook page. The host, Ronald S. Coddington, is Editor and Publisher of Military Images.

Research Rabbit Hole: Inside an Iron Brigade Pension

A new episode of Research Rabbit Hole, our Facebook Live show, premiered Monday evening, April 19, at 9 p.m. ET.

Season 1, Episode 8, is focused on a soldier who served in the storied 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, an Iron Brigade regiment that made its name at Gettysburg and other major Civil War battles. The 2nd paid a high price in casualties, including Sgt. Theodore Dosch Bahn of Company H. A look inside his pension file provides details about his military service—and reveals the value of these unique documents as a research tool.

The full season is available on YouTube.

New episodes of Research Rabbit Hole will be released every two weeks on our Facebook page. The host, Ronald S. Coddington, is Editor and Publisher of Military Images.

Research Rabbit Hole: Posing 101

A new episode of Research Rabbit Hole, our Facebook Live show, premiered Monday evening, April 5, at 9 p.m. ET.

Season 1, Episode 7, provides answers to a deceptively simple question: Ever wondered why and how Americans of the 1860s posed for portraits? In this episode, we review instructions by traveling photographer B. Bradley to his patrons to help them make the most of their visit, and guidelines suggested by master daguerreian pioneer Marcus Aurelius Root in his 1864 photographer’s handbook, The Camera, and The Pencil.

The full season is available on YouTube.

New episodes of Research Rabbit Hole will be released every two weeks on our Facebook page. The host, Ronald S. Coddington, is Editor and Publisher of Military Images.

A Savior of the Capitol

Benjamin Franklin Watson, a New Hampshire native who settled in Lowell, Mass., before the war, served in the 6th Massachusetts Infantry when the regiment received orders to report to Washington, D.C., during the days following the rebel attack on Fort Sumter. The author details Watson’s rise from a respected leader in Lowell to his leadership of the regiment as it journeyed through hostile mobs in Baltimore to sleeping in the U.S. Capitol and beyond. The story is illustrated with portraits of Watson and others.

Story by Paul Russinoff

This story is part of our Spring 2021 issue. Check out the full contents and learn how to purchase a copy or subscribe in our finding aid.

Drummers: A Gallery

A gallery of images collected in collaboration with Editor Dale Niesen of the Facebook group “The Image Collector” and contributions by collectors, reviewed by Contributing Editor Chris Nelson, is focused on soldiers pictured with their drums. All are Union musicians.

This story is part of our Spring 2021 issue. Check out the full contents and learn how to purchase a copy or subscribe in our finding aid.

Why Do Photographs Fade?

Concern about the yellowing and fading of albumen prints is almost as old albumen paper itself. Invented in 1850, it made the mass production of photographs possible—but the deterioration of the prints prompted the esteemed Photographic Society of London to open an investigation in 1855. This is a brief history of the problems and what today’s collectors can do to protect their treasures.

Story by Ronald S. Coddington

This story is part of our Spring 2021 issue. Check out the full contents and learn how to purchase a copy or subscribe in our finding aid.

Not a Forty-Eighter

Social unrest in Germany during the mid-19th century ended in a nasty military crackdown that resulted in a wave of German immigration to the U.S. One of the soldiers who fought to put down the German rebels, Earnest Barth, followed them to America. After the start of the Civil War, he donned Union blue and helped put down the Southern rebellion.

Story by Daniel Carroll Toomey

This story is part of our Spring 2021 issue. Check out the full contents and learn how to purchase a copy or subscribe in our finding aid.

Case Number 16

Respected Lt. John Sandford Williams of the 3rd Delaware Infantry found himself in a tough situation at the Battle of Hatcher’s Run. A fellow officer suffered a wound and pleaded with Williams to help him to safety. Williams acted with compassion and helped the man—and it resulted in his court martial. The author, a descendant of Williams, tells his ancestor’s story and reveals how commanders can treat honor and pride.

Story by Patrick Naughton

This story is part of our Spring 2021 issue. Check out the full contents and learn how to purchase a copy or subscribe in our finding aid.