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But no one knows the identities of the girls in the photographs, or the stories they might tell.

The museum identified him as a lieutenant but was unable to determine for which side.

It was not unusual for a militia officer from the South to wear a U. Army issue uniform dating from before the nation was divided by the Civil War.

Typically they were found by another soldier and handed down through generations.

Ultimately an attic would be cleared or a trunk would be emptied and the photo would be given to the museum.

Some have been in the museum's possession for 60 years or more.

Even in its infancy, photography was booming during the Civil War.

-- The names of the two little girls are an enduring mystery, their images found among crumpled bodies on Civil War battlefields.

Each is posed primly on chairs, ringlets cascading past the rouged cheeks of one, the other dressed in a frilly hoop dress.

The cases protected the fragile images, which include early photographic processes such as tintypes and daguerreotypes.

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