Errol Morris is unfurling another fascinating investigation of a 19th century photograph on hit NY Times blog. Today, in part 2/5, he talks with author and Civil War historian Mark Dunkelman about a breakthrough in researching the life of Amos Humiston, who became famous as the Unknown Soldier who died at Gettysburg:
ERROL MORRIS: As you read the letters for the first time, did you feel that Amos was coming back to life?
MARK DUNKELMAN: Yes. My whole idea of him was changing because I knew nothing of his personality or his personal experiences during the war. He was sick on occasion during the war. He mentions his comrades caring for him like a brother. And he referred to his hands. He said they looked like bird’s claws. That was great stuff. That was the key to me. That was the key. He could speak again. He could be a living person again instead of a corpse in rigor mortis on the battlefield.