Archives for : ron coddington

Faces of Freedom Exhibit Travels to Manassas

Our traveling exhibit, Faces of Freedom, is coming to Manassas National Military Park. The exhibit will be on display at the Visitor Center from September 2 through November 1, 2024.

Established in 2019, the exhibit first appeared at the Hubbard House Underground Railroad Museum in Ashtabula, Ohio. Covid paused our travels until 2024, when the exhibit moved to the Goodridge Freedom Center and Underground Railroad Museum in York, Pa.

The exhibit features 37 high-quality prints of wartime portraits of Black men who served in the U.S. Colored Troops (USCT) and Navy during the Civil War. Each portrait is accompanied by a biographical sketch detailing their wartime experiences. This is a unique opportunity to honor and learn about these brave individuals, some who sacrificed their lives to make a more perfect union and others who went on to become Buffalo Soldiers.

This exhibit is made possible by Military Images. Editor and Publisher Ron Coddington observes, “This is another wonderful opportunity to share portraits and stories, and our history, with visitors to the hallowed grounds of the First and Second Battles of Bull Run.”

The images are from private collectors and public institutions.

These individuals shared images from their collections for inclusion in this exhibit: Jonathan Beasley, David E. Brown, Kevin Canberg, Glen Cangelosi, Ronald S. Coddington, Greg French, Thomas Harris, Ross Kelbaugh, C. Paul Loane, Steve Meadow, Ronn Palm, and Paul Russinoff.

Images from public institutions include the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University; The Lawrence T. Jones III Collection at DeGloyer Library, Southern Methodist University; Gettysburg National Military Park Museum; Kansas State Historical Society; The Liljenquist Family Collection at the Library of Congress; National Archives; West Virginia and Regional History Collection, West Virginia University Libraries; and the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Book Library, Robert W. Woodruff Library, Emory University.

Interested in bringing Faces of Freedom to your location? Fill out this form.

Traveling Exhibit: Fighting for Freedom

Museum-quality prints of 22 Images of African American Civil War soldiers pictured in a gallery published in last summer’s issue of MI and elsewhere were displayed in our first-ever traveling exhibit. The first stop for this unique group was the last stop for slaves fleeing to freedom along the Underground Railroad to Canada—the Hubbard House in Ashtabula, Ohio. Located along Lake Erie is northeast Ohio, the town marked the opening of the exhibit with a two-day event last weekend. Music, dramatic readings, a visit from Buffalo Soldiers bikers, and of course the portraits, each with a caption that tells the soldier’s story. Many thanks to all the collectors who shared their images for this event. They include Kevin Canberg, Greg French, Chuck Joyce, Paul Loane, Steve Meadow and Paul Russinoff.

Special thanks to Lisa Burroughs, who played a leading role in conceiving and organizing the event, the staff and volunteers of the Hubbard House, and the city of Ashtabula for turning out to see these powerful photographs that are such an important part of our nation’s story.

Read coverage from the Ashtabula Star Beacon.

Images from the exhibit will be on display for the next year.


The Winter 2014 Issue Is Ready to Go to Press!

One of the editorial highlights of any publication is the moment you decide it is ready to go to press. The moment comes after weeks and months of planning, and a final few frenetic days of proofing pages, editing text and tweaking the design.

mi-editsThe ‘Moment’ for Military Images arrived last night when I put my red pen down, confident that the Winter 2014 issue (my first as editor and publisher) was completed.

And while my description may make it seem a solitary journey, it was anything but a lonesome adventure. My wife Anne has been great in every way, and her honest feedback along the way truly appreciated. Copy Editor Jack Hurov has been terrific. His work has sharpened the text and put MI on the path of a solid style guide that will be very useful for future issues. I am indebted to Senior Editor Mike McAfee for his great column, “Uniforms & History,” and for the number of times over the last few months that I’ve emailed him images with a request for his authoritative opinion, which he always gave quickly and decisively.

So many other friends of MI have rallied to support our efforts, and I’ve been overwhelmed with their generosity. Contributing Editors Ron Field, Steve Karnes, Scott Valentine and David W. Vaughan contacted me early on and shared their contributions and observations. They were not alone! Other contributors in this issue include Rick Carlile, David Cress, Shayne Davidson, Francis Guber, Janet & Bedford Hayes, Don Hopkins, Mike Hunt, Rich Jahn, Tom Liljenquist, Greg Mast, John Robella, Gary and Bill Stier, Bryan Watson and Buck Zaidel.

In the end, it is your passion, enthusiasm and energy that keeps MI alive. This thought is foremost in my mind this morning.

The work of course is not complete! Today, I’ll make pdfs of the pages and shipped them via DropBox to the printer. And planning is already underway for the Spring 2014 issue and beyond!

Civil War Trust Interview

coddington-cavalrymen-350Ina Dixon of the Civil War Trust contacted me a couple weeks ago, and asked me to share my perspectives about Military Images magazine and its role in historic photography. An excerpt:

Over time, I’ve come to understand and appreciate that these rare soldier portraits humanize the terrible conflict that raged on our soil during the four bloodiest and most violent years in our nation’s history. When I see these photos, which were personal, intimate objects shared with family, friends and comrades at a time of war, I am reminded of these soldiers’ courage, and my own responsibilities as an American and a world citizen.

It is only in the last few decades, beginning with the centennial of the war in the 1960s, that these old photographic portraits have begun to move from the realm of vernacular photography to become part of the nation’s visual record. Harry Roach, who founded MI in 1979, was in the forefront of those who realized the growing importance of these photographs.

Read the full interview.

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity, and deeply grateful to Ina and the rest of the staff of CWT for the great work they do in preservation and education.

Announcement of the Sale of MI in the Civil War News

Civil War NewsTranscribed from the latest issue of the print edition:

Ron Coddington Is New Military Images Publisher

ARLINGTON, VA.—Historian David Neville, who owned and edited Military Images magazine since 2003, sold it to Ronald S. Coddington of Arlington in early August.

Coddington, who is familiar to Civil War News readers as the author of “Faces of War,” took over as publisher and editor immediately.

Noting the magazine’s long tradition of excellence in bringing to light rare military portrait photographs, Coddington said, “I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to guide MI to the next chapter in its life.”

He said, “The magazine continues to play a key role in preserving the visual record and stories of citizen soldiers in America, and is a key source for information about uniforms and other aspects of the military.”

Coddington said, “In the current digital age, with so much new material surfacing, it is more important than ever to have a publication that showcases and interprets these important images.”

Harry Roach founded the Military Images in 1979. He set a mission to document the photographic history of U.S. soldiers and sailors from the birth of photography in 1839 through World War I, although the vast majority of published images date from the Civil War Period.

Roach sold the magazine in 1999 to Phillip Katcher, from whom Neville purchased it four years later.

Regular contributors to MI include some of the most knowledgable collectors in the country, including Michael J. McAfee, John Sickles, Chris Nelson, David Wynn Vaughan, Ron Field and Ken Turner.

Coddington said he is excited to continue working with all of the MI contributors and invites new faces with a passion for military photograhy to participate.

He may be contacted at or

A Letter to Subscribers

Military Images subscriber letterToday I will be begin sending this letter announcing the change in ownership of Military Images to subscribers. It reads:

August 20, 2013

Dear Subscriber,

I am pleased to announce that MI has changed ownership. On August 10, 2013, I signed an agreement with Dave Neville to purchase the magazine, and became the fourth publisher and editor in its thirty-four year history.

Military Images has a long tradition of excellence in bringing to light rare military portrait photographs, and I am thrilled and honored to have the opportunity to take the helm of this unique publication. I have been a long time subscriber and an occasional contributor, and know firsthand how special MI truly is.

I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge my deep commitment to advancing the work begun by Harry Roach in 1979, and followed by Philip Katcher and Dave Neville. All three men have my deepest respect and appreciation.

I also extend a profound thanks to our contributors, who have worked with energy and enthusiasm for years. I’ve had the pleasure to communicate with a number of them since the purchase, and all have expressed their excitement and willingness to continue to contribute their wonderful images and well-researched stories.

Finally, thank you for subscribing. Your support is critical to the ongoing success of MI. If you believe as I do that Military Images plays a crucial role in preserving the visual record of citizen soldiers who forged this country in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, please take a moment to fill out a brief survey to share your opinions about the magazine. Your feedback will be a tremendous help:

Exciting changes to the magazine are already in the works, including a redesign. You can follow the progress at, and a new web site,

Again, many thanks for your support. A new and exciting chapter in the history of MI begins now!

Kindest regards,

Ronald S. Coddington
Publisher and Editor, Military Images
P.O. Box 50171
Arlington, VA 22205