A Reveiw by Mark Colin Reid - March 19, 2018
"When the United States of America went to war against itself
in 1861, it sparked a conflict of catastrophic proportions. The northern states fielded more than 2.1 million soldiers in the American Civil War, roughly double the number of Confederate troops. The combined death toll stands at approximately 620,000, but
some estimates place it as high as 850,000. As for Canada, while it was far from the battlefields geographically, it was on the front lines when it came to the machinations that went on behind the scenes. The nexus of this activity was Montreal, which played
host to Confederate spies as well as to millions of dollars in hard currency or gold — much of it used to bankroll clandestine activities against the U.S. North."
lavish inclusion and excellent reproduction of many Notman photographs from the McCord Museum Collection are in themselves worth the acquisition of this outstandingly researched and clearly-written history. The many shady and not-so-shady characters who lurked
in the St. Lawrence Hall Hotel on St. James Street (now Rue Saint-Jacques) were obviously keen to have their pictures taken at the fashionable Notman Studio on Bleury Street. Notman appeared to be the preferred photographer of Confederate agents, commissioners,
raiders, soldiers and spies visiting Montreal.
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