A woman tentatively identified as Mrs. James Shields wears a mourning dress and a brooch that depicts a Confederate soldier. In her arms she holds a young boy, presumably her son, who wears a military cap known as a kepi. The Richmond photographer Charles R. Rees made this hand-colored ambrotype during the Civil War. The photographic image is set in a hand-painted, papier-mâché case ornamented with mother-of-pearl. The subjects' clothing and the composition of the image may indicate this was a widow commemorating her husband's death in battle.