Interesting that all of the pictures on this page are flipped left-to-right, judging by the buttons (and the US being backwards on the belt). Means that the lad is holding the sword in his left hand.
Unless the convention for men's coat buttons has changed in the last 160 or so years?
As a negative shows lights as darks and darks as lights, a black backing was put behind the image to correct the contrast. The negative's mirror image could not be corrected, so all images including writing are in reverse.
More technical stuff at http://www.cycleback...earlyphotos.htm
This was the first war where photographers were able to capture the nightmares and bring them back to the public.
Memorial Decoration Day.
Union and Confederate dead, Gettysburg Battlefield, Pa., July 1863. Photographed by Timothy H. O'Sullivan.
Edited by X-Files, 19 May 2015 - 0743 AM.