Numbers

Often, when I look at Civil War photographs, I wonder about the fate of the individual within. Usually their identity has been lost, a face without a name or a history. In a conflict where the scale of death was unprecedented, individuality was brought into question as the numbers became important in representing  the success and failure of the war. The death toll was recently reevaluated and rose from the long standing accepted number of 618,222 to over 750,000. Death on this scale shook the foundations of American society’s view on dying. The act, the acceptance of, and the reconciliation with death was never viewed the same. The war also changed societal views on the responsibility of our government to the fallen American soldier. The unknown solider should not be unknown if possible.

I wonder, what was their ending?

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