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A Negative Piece Of History…

An archaeologist, who wished to remain anonymous, was searching for pieces of historical materials belonging to the American Civil War era with a metal detector near a military base in 1992. At that time, construction works were going on in that area of Northern Virginia … The archaeologist had gathered prior information that he might be able to discover items associated with Civil War, such as military belts or buckles… However, he somehow succeeded in finding something that was unexpected (& unprecedented, too)… an objecta thin square-shape plate just about 5-inch, under the ground! Well, seemingly, he had touched History

In an article published in a magazine, the archaeologist mentioned that he could never imagine that he could find such a special item! He had discovered the negative near the area where the Battles of First and Second Bull Run and the Battle of Blackburn’s Ford had taken place in 1861-62! There was an image of a beautiful lady on the metal plate! After carefully examining the plate (or the negative), the archaeologist came to know that the heavy metallic plate was made in 1861-65 and it had been lying under the ground for more than a century! The lady, in the negative, was in a ball dance outfit of the Civil War era (It was basically an off-shoulder gown belonging to the 19th century).

It is clear from her dress code that the lady definitely had belonged to an elite class family… her hair- style was similar to that of other 19th century ladies. However, the identity of the lady had not been disclosed in the negative. Later, the archaeologist clicked a photo of the 4-inch metallic negative with a digital camera, and developed the image! He gave the image a new dimension with the help of Adobe Photoshop. He selected the invert option after using Photoshop’s Lasso Tool… Then, he discovered the real face of the smiling lady…

The archaeologist developed a black and white image of the lady in order to give it an authenticity. When he took the image to Tom Liljenquist, an expert on Civil War Photography, the latter confirmed that she was a beautiful lady who had experienced the American Civil War! According to Liljenquist, the jewelleries and dress code of the lady made it clear that she belonged to a wealthy family.


The archaeologist also met Ronald Coddington, a military photo expert. Coddington opined that the photo was clicked between 1870 and 1880. However, it was under the ground for more than a century. Experts believe that the image would help archaeologists and other experts reveal many more facts about the 19th century America!

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