Today's picture shows two black soldiers, fighting in the Civil War. The picture was taken near the Dutch Gap Canal in Virginia. These men would have been either runaway slaves, or slaves liberated by advancing Union troops.
It was on this day (August 25) in the year 1862 that Secretary of War Edwin Stanton authorized the use of up to 5,000 black troops in the US army. Many were skeptical that freed slaves could make good soldiers, but these men fought valiantly throughout the war.