Civil War Beards

A site dedicated to the golden age of facial hair, the 1850s and 1860s, featuring original photographs

Wedding of Princess Alice to Prince Louis of Hesse Darmstadt, 1867

My apologies for how long its been since my last post.  I’m getting married in a little over a week and things here are a little hectic.  With that in mind today I’m sharing an image of the royal wedding of Queen Victoria’s daughter Alice to Prince Louis of Hesse Darmstadt in 1867.  Attending her and her new husband are Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and the Prince of Wales (Edward VII).  Those royals really had great beards.


Isma’il Pasha

Great facial hair of the 1850s and 60s was not just limited to the United States.  This is Isma’il Pasha, the Khedive (the local ruler under the control of the Ottoman Sultan in Istanbul) of Egypt from 1867 until 1879.  Isma’il Pasha was known as a great modernizer of the largely traditional nation.  One of his greatest accomplishments was the opening of the Suez Canal.  Following the American Civil War the Khedive invited many veteran officers from North and South to come to Egypt and help modernize his army. 

Union Officer and Private

Today’s image is of a union private with sideburns and an officer with a really great beard

The Larrabee Brothers

Today’s image is of brothers Private Henry Luther and Sergeant Hebert Larrabee.  Both were enlisted in Company B of the 17th Massachusetts.

Unidentified Union Officer with Bully Beard

Unknown Union Fifer

Today’s photograph is of a union fifer with a bushy chin beard and a bold cravat.

Baseball Player

Today’s image is of a man with a really robust beard in a very awesome baseball uniform.  He probably dates from the 1860s. 

Merry (Belated) Christmas

A Merry Belated Christmas!  I’ve been out of town visiting my fiancée’s family so alas I’m a little late.  Today I’m taking out the fire trap of a Christmas Tree in my apartment so I’ve decided to share this image by Winslow Homer from 1858 entitled “The Christmas Tree.”  The men have a number of really good beards and moustaches.

Robert E. Brewster

Today I bring you a CDV of Captain Robert E. Brewster of the 74th New York Infantry and then the 8th New York Cavalry.  Captain Brewster was awarded the Sickles Medal of Bravery for his involvement in the battle of Williamsburg.  He was also one of the last Union officers wounded in the war receiving a wound at Appomattox. He would die of this wound in 1892.  He has a wonderfully full goatee!


I would like to thank Matt White for the information about Captain Brewster and for giving me permission to reuse the photograph.

Charleston South Carolina Firefighters 1859

The photograph for today is of three firefighters from Charleston South Carolina taking in 1859.  All three have “chin curtains.”