Fine quarter plate ambrotype of a soldier displaying an Enfield rifle, his thumb on the hammer, with a large D-guard Bowie knife and Griswold & Gunnison revolver tucked in his belt. Housed in a leatherette case with " Cook/ Artist/ Charleston" on the back cover. An exceptional image taken early in the war.
George Smith Cook (1819-1902) began his photography career by opening one of the first daguerreotype studios in New Orleans, then operated briefly in several cities throughout the South. In 1851, Cook managed Mathew Brady's daguerreian gallery in New York City while Brady traveled in Europe. Cook was in Charleston during the Civil War and is often credited with taking the first known live combat photograph, showing Union ironclads firing on Fort Moultrie.