The images are of soldiers and crowd, soldiers lining up and soldiers in formation.
Johnson was prompted to examine the negatives after a Library of Congress patron alerted her to the fact that these visually similar photos had radically different identifications in the Library's online Civil War photographic negative collection. But instead of choosing between Grant and the Grand Armies Review, she opened a new door to the past by looking closely at the images and recognizing Lincoln's second inauguration. The Library’s Prints and Photographs Division has updated the catalog records. To view the full set of photos, visit the Prints and Photographs Online Catalog.
John Richter, another Library patron, uncovered images purportedly of the 16th president at Gettysburg for the dedication of the Soldiers National Cemetery on Nov. 19, 1863. An amateur stereo photographer and Civil War buff, Richter had found image one and image two as he was searching through the division’s digital archives. The found images show a figure believed to be Lincoln, white-gloved in his trademark stovepipe hat, in a military procession. Although not apparent to the naked eye, Richter believed to have identified the president after enhancing the image with the help of a powerful computer program that allowed him to pick out the figure deep in the crowd.
The Library's American Memory online presentation “I Do Solemnly Swear” offers a special look at Lincoln's second inauguration, including the handwritten text of the address, which is part of the Library's Abraham Lincoln Collection in the Manuscript Division.