C. R. Rees Photographs

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Photographs of Richmond made by C. R. Rees during the Civil War.

These are the only outdoor photographs known to have come out of Richmond during the war (pre-1865). Doubtless, Rees made other photos during the war, but since his gallery burned in the evacuation fire (at 145 Main street, according to the 1860 City Directory), the only surviving photos are those which had been extensively sold, and probably even smuggled North. To my knowledge, these six images are the only wartime Richmond photographs.

Belle Isle During the Civil War (Photo by Rees)
Belle Isle During the Civil War (Photo by Rees-different)
1863 photograph of Libby Prison, looking east - prison guards in formation at present arms. Taken by Rees.
1863 photograph of Libby Prison, looking south-east, corner of Cary and 20th sts. Thomas and Dick Turner are among the men in the foreground. Photo by Rees.
Variant of the above photo.
Another variant of the above photo.

Written Accounts

Richmond Dispatch 5/8/1861; Ad for Rees' photographic gallery
Richmond Dispatch 5/10/1861; advertisement for Rees' photographic gallery
Richmond Dispatch 7/1/1861; ad for Rees' photographic gallery
Richmond Dispatch 12/31/1861; Thos. B. Rees, Main between 9 & 10 wants to hire cook for small family
Richmond Dispatch 2/8/1862; death notice for little girl of T. B. & E. S. Rees
Richmond Dispatch

4/1/1862; death notice for little boy of Charles R. & Jennie Rees.

Richmond Dispatch 6/19/1862; C. R. Rees’ slave jailed for theft
Richmond Dispatch 8/13/1862; T. L. Ennis at Rees’ Photo gallery, Main St., adv for washerwoman family of three
Richmond Dispatch 10/24/1862; Rees applying for “photograph and ambrotype operators”
Lowell Daily Courier 3/11/1864; Rees photo of Libby Prison is on display in Lowell, Mass.
National Tribune 12/29/1891; Excellent set of letters from Libby Prison, recounting treatment and life in prison. Mentions purchasing one of the Rees images from the prison guards, and sending it North.

"Charles R. Rees
Active as a daguerreian, Richmond, Va., and New York City, N.Y. In 1851 he was listed as a daguerreian at the corner of 8th and Main Streets, Richmond, in business as Rees Brothers, with C.J. Rees. This is probably the same Charles Rees listed from 1853 to 1855 in New York City. In 1853-1854 he was listed at 289 Broadway, in business as Rees & Co. He refused to divulge information on other partnership members for the partnership directory. In 1854-1855 he was listed as Rees & Co. at 385 Broadway, and also at 289 Broadway. Stamped on the brass mat of a ninth plate daguerreotype, "Rees & Co. 289 Broadway". He was noted as opening the new gallery in 1854. About 1853, Holmes was noted as working for or being a part of the company. In 1859 Rees was listed as Rees & Co., ambrotype gallery, 139 Main Street, Richmond. He may have employed Edward (Edwin) Rees, who boarded at his home. W.G.R. Frayser may also have been part of the firm. There is also a listing for "T.R. Rees", probably Charles R., with a gallery at 145 Main Street, Richmond, in 1860. Information corrected to November, 1997; © 1996, 1997 John S. Craig"- from Craig’s Daguerreian Registry

Military Service:

T. B. Rees: 1st Virginia State Reserves, Co. H
Enl. 5/29/1862 in Richmond, age 24

C. R. Rees: 2nd Virginia State Reserves, Co. C
Paid for 39 days’ service between 7/7/1863 and 1/4/1864

Page last updated on 04/28/2008