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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A faked Civil War photo

Yesterday I posted a cropped version of the above photograph. It was titled "Confederate and Union dead side by side" and was taken on April 3, 1865 at Fort Mahone, during the waning days of the siege of Petersburg.

The body in the foreground is a real corpse of a fallen soldier. While the ammo pouch he's carrying says US, he could be a Confederate since many rebels, short on gear, used whatever Union gear they could get their hands on. It's hard to tell from this photo, but the uniform could either be gray or a faded blue.

The fellow in the background is supposed to be the "Confederate" but has two things wrong with him. 1) He's black, an unlikely skin tone for a Confederate soldier, 2) He's not wearing a uniform, and 3) He's alive.

The guy was the photographer's teamster. There's another photo showing him alive if you follow this link. The Civil War Times published an article on this photo in their December 2010 issue titled "Substitute for a Corpse."

Yep, a little Election Day chicanery for you!

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.

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