Our curatorial staff recently found and cataloged this remarkable photograph.
Based on the gentleman’s jacket and shoulder marks, we are fairly certain that he was an officer in the Union Army during the Civil War. However, we can not see the shoulder marks clearly enough to determine his rank. Based on what is visible, we think it is quite possible that he was a colonel or general. Assuming that he was from Ohio, that does not help us to narrow his possible identity by much as there were hundreds of Union Army generals and colonels from Ohio.
We have compared this photograph to those of a some high ranking Ohio officers who became prominent in Ohio and national politics after the Civil War, but so far this excercise has only produced a list of people whom we believe the photograph is not.
Jacob Dolson Cox – Ohio Governor 1866-1868
James A. Garfield – U.S. Representative from Ohio, U.S. President January-September 1881
Andrew L. Harris – Ohio Governor 1906-1909
Benjamin Harrison – U.S. President 1889-1893
Rutherford B. Hayes – Ohio Governor 1868-1872 and 1876-1877, U.S. President 1877-1880
Edward F. Noyes – Ohio Governor 1872-1874
Thomas L. Young – Ohio Governor 1877-1878
We admit it, we are stumped. Photographs of unidentified people are very common in photographic archives. In many cases the identity of those pictured has probably been lost to history forever. However, in this case, we have a feeling that someone may recognize this gentleman. Perhaps it is his impressive beard, but we think he is memorable. If you have any ideas about his identity, please comment or write us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
L. Wood, Curator for Visual Resources