The story starts 15 years ago in a Virginia park. The dad, Tom Liljenquist, has two boys in tow, about 5 and 3 years old, and the younger one plucks an object from the sandstone bed of a quiet creek. It’s a Civil War bullet—and it becomes the first piece in a collection of artifacts that the brothers will nurture from grade school to college.
The image above, from the collection, was found in Cecil County, Maryland, and shows a soldier in the United States Colored Troops with his family. According to the story, scholars suggest it may be the only known photograph of its kind.