In the paper “Retouching History: The Modern Falsification of a Civil War Photograph” by Jerome S. Handler and Michael L. Tuite, Jr. the authors examine several versions of a circa 1864 studio photograph, obviously posed, of black Union soldiers with a white officer. They conclude that subsequently the image was deliberately altered and falsely represented to be a photograph of the 1st Louisiana Native Guards (Confederate). They argue that the falsification serves the interests of Neo-Confederates by supporting claims that the Civil War was not about slavery, but about states rights.
In summation, Mr. Handler and Mr. Tuite quote from the August, 2004 issue of Civil War Times Illustrated:
“It is tempting to think of photographs as evidence, documents of what reality was like in some specific time and place. But from the earliest days of camera craft, photographers have been much more than mere recorders. At times, they can be outright masters of illusion.”