Photographs of Wartime Contrabands

c. 1862, Contrabands at Camp Brightwood

Group of Contrabands at Camp Brightwood, Washington, D.C.

Young liberated men behind Union lines near Washington, D.C., c. 1862 (Library of Congress) Photographer unknown.

1862 || Working at General Lafayette’s Headquarters in Virginia

runaway bond people Union soldiers

A group of freed people behind Union lines, near Yorktown, Virginia, May 1862. (Library of Congress) Photograph taken by John F. Gibson.

1862  || Gathering Outside at Cumberland Landing, Virginia

A group of liberated people outside Foller’s house in Cumberland Landing, Virginia in 1862. (Library of Congress) Photograph taken by James F. Gibson.

1862 || Contrabands in Virginia

Two freed men sitting in front of a tent in Culpeper, Virginia in 1862. (Library of Congress) Photograph taken by Timothy H. O’Sullivan.

1863 || Photograph of Gordon, Formerly Enslaved Man

The scourged back of Gordon, a runaway slave, whose photograph was taken at a Union camp in 1863. (The Metropolitan  Museum of Art) 

c. 1864 || Contrabands in army uniforms

A group of freed African American men gathered and dressed in Union army uniforms, c. 1864. (Library of Congress) Photographer unknown.

1865, Gathering in Richmond, Virginia

A group of freedmen gathered near a canal at Haxall’s Mill in Richmond Virginia in 1865. (Library of Congress) Photograph taken by Alexander Gardner.

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