Saturday, February 28, 2015

Two Hand-Colored Tintype Postmortem Portraits of the Mother and Father of Union Soldier John Peter Bailey Posing His Body (1865)

Reuben Bailey with his son John Peter Bailey.

Rebecca Bailey with her son John Peter Bailey.

Two hand-colored tintype postmortem portraits of the mother and father of Union soldier John Peter Bailey from Company F of the 6th Ohio Cavalry posing his body on March 31, 1865. He died at home in Newton Falls, Ohio, from the effects of disease and starvation as a result of his time at the Confederate prison camp in Salisbury, North Carolina. Images from the American Experience documentary called Death and the Civil War.

Many thanks to the West Family blog for all of the additional information.
Find A Grave entry for John Peter Bailey.


Trail Candy said...

this is my third great grand aunt and uncle with their son. thanks so much for posting this. it is amazing.

chubachus said...

Thanks for the comment! Do you happen to know what their names are or who has the photographs are today?

The West Family Blog said...

Hi, the deceased man is John Peter Bailey, Company F, 6th Ohio Cavalry . There were only two tintype 1/6 plates, tinted, made. One with his mother at his side, Rebecca Bailey and one with his father, Reuben Bailey. The images were made on March 31, 1865. The info on their location is as follows "Burns, Stanley P., and Burns, Elizabeth A. "Sleeping Beauty II. Grief, Bereavement, and the Family in Memorial Photography. American and European Traditions." Plates 43 and 44. New York: Archive Press."

Peter and I share a common great grandfather, Johanna Abraham Bailey, who immigrated here from Switzerland in 1763.

I was shocked because the photo of Peter and his mother was shown on the PBS documentary and it was surreal to see it there!

Anyway, I can email you the photos that I have, they are very large. It's so nice to meet you. I am a genealogy nerd big time. I have the story behind Peter's death too if you would like me send it.

Candace Bailey West

The West Family Blog said...

well I was totally off on the lineage in my tree. If you send an email to I can send you the PROPER info :) so sorry. I was a generation off!!

chubachus said...

Thank you for all of the information! I have updated the post accordingly. I really think that they are two of the most powerful photographs from the Civil War and don't know why it took until the documentary for everyone to see them. I thought it was really sad that they didn't give his name and story though especially now that I know his identity was known to the makers of it. His was a really fascinating and quite tragic story from what I read at about him. I would definitely love to know more about him too.

Mac Talmadge said...

I am working on a poster for Ken Burns... The Civil War en=mastered, and I would like very much to find the two images of the parents with their son postmortem... Can anyone please help me?

chubachus said...

They were published in Sleeping Beauty II: Grief, Bereavement in Memorial Photography American and European Traditions. I have no idea who owns them currently.

Mac Talmadge said...

Thanks for the lead... I'll track down the author and try to locate the archive the images came from.