Here is a wonderful image of a Confederate veteran shaking hands with what is very likely a former camp slave. I have never seen this particular image before and I don’t believe I have ever seen an image like it. It’s also a great example of how “research” is often carried out on social media.
It reminds me of the photograph of Union and Confederate veterans shaking hands over the stone wall at Gettysburg in 1913 and Fitz Guerin’s “Cuba Libre.” All of these images ‘speak volumes’ though, of course, there is much more going on here than a simple handshake.
Neither individual is identified. There is also no indication of a date or place, though it is very likely that the photograph was taken at a Confederate veterans reunion. The individual who posted this image – who also happens to manage this specific Facebook page – believes that the image speaks for itself. Of course, that tells us more about the agenda of this group and nothing about the photograph.
It is also telling that these images are now routinely watermarked so “Getty images or some such outfit does not make money off our people” – an attempt to claim ownership of the past. If only it were that simple.
I went to the website referenced in the post, but could not find any additional information about this photograph. Will keep hunting and may even try to use it in the book. Please let me know if you have seen it before and where I might find additional information.