A newspaper ad containing an image of a tintype of a young Confederate soldier led to the identification of that soldier.
The image was identified by 67-year-old Karen Thatcher, a retired U.S. government worker, as that of her husband Larry Thatcher’s great-great uncle David Miller Thatcher, who died in the Civil War in 1863.
Thatcher had compared the photo in the ad with a family reproduction of David Thatcher’s tintype, and shared that it was the hands that led to the identification: “The hands were in the same position,” she shared.
David Miller Thatcher, of Berkeley County, West Virginia, was 19 years old when he was mortally wounded in battle on October 19, 1863, in Buckland Mills, Virginia, near Warrenton. He was the eldest of seven children of Jonathan W. and Nancy Elizabeth Miller Thatcher, and served in the First Virginia Cavalry.
Upon his death, his remains was retrieved by his family and brought home in a wagon. He was buried in the family plot at the Tuscarora Presbyterian Church graveyard near Martinsburg.
Karen Thatcher shared that the family had no idea how the tintype left the family, although her parents-in-law had a crayon reproduction in an oval frame. Her husband Larry had a copy of the reproduction.
The original became part of a collection of Civil War ambrotype and tintype photographs of Thomas Liljenquist, which was donated to the Library of Congress.