Alexander Christie was one of three brothers who fought for Minnesota in the Civil War. His older brothers, William and Thomas, joined at the beginning of the war. But Alexander, who was only 14 at the start of the war, was not able to enlist until fall 1864. Since he joined the army so near the end of the war, Alexander spent most of his time moving from place to place and drilling, never really seeing battle action. The brothers left behind a treasure trove of letters documenting their war experiences. This photograph is labeled as "approximately 1861." Sometimes it is difficult to pin down an exact date when the source doesn't include that information, but Alexander looks like he might be close to 14 years old, and he is not wearing a soldier's uniform, so this was likely taken before he enlisted in 1864.