Annie E. Fort (1839-1913) of Columbus, Mississippi, amassed a collection of sixty-six carte de visite photographs of Confederate political and military figures, including Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, John C. Pemberton, John Wilkes Booth, L. Q. C. Lamar, E. Battle Fort (her brother), and Col. William H. McCardle (her husband), as well as Union general Alfred Pleasonton and Union admiral David Dixon Porter and the first Episcopal bishop of Mississippi, William Mercer Green. Fort became the second wife of Confederate soldier, Whig journalist, and historian Col. William H. McCardle (1815-1893) in December 1868.
Her elder daughter, Annie F. McCardle (1870-1963), a clerk in the General Land Office of the U.S. Department of the Interior and member of the Mississippi Historical Society, donated her mother’s photo collection to the Mississippi Department of Archives and History on June 23, 1958.
Cartes de visite are paper photographs mounted on thin cards measuring approximately 4 x 2½ inches - the size of visiting cards, which gave the format its name. In the 1850s and '60s carte-de-visite photographs were popular collector items, and tradesmen sold albums designed specifically to hold them.