Annie E. Fort was born in November 1839 and grew up in Columbus, Mississippi. She married Col. William H. McCardle (1815-1893), editor of the Vicksburg Times, in December 1868, while he was waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on his appeal in the matter of his November 8, 1867, arrest by military authorities under the Reconstruction Act (apparently for relentlessly criticizing the commanding officer at Vicksburg, Gen. Edward O. C. Ord). The Supreme Court dismissed the case on April 12, 1869, and the military court let the charges drop.
The McCardles had three children: daughter Annie F. (1870-1963), son Battle (1872-1941), and daughter Mary W. (1876-1955). Col. McCardle obtained work under a state appropriation for collecting Confederate war records, and Mrs. McCardle purchased a home for her family at Delafield Place in Washington, D.C., sometime before the 1880 census. Mrs. McCardle settled permanently in Washington, though Col. McCardle returned often to Mississippi for political and literary pursuits (most notably collaborating with former governor Robert Lowry in writing A History of Mississippi around 3 years before his death in Jackson, Mississippi, April 28, 1893). Annie E. McCardle died in Washington, D.C. June 18, 1913, naming her elder daughter, Annie F. McCardle, executrix of her estate.
The McCardle (Mrs. W. H.) Photograph Collection consists of sixty-six carte de visite photographs collected by Mrs. Annie E. McCardle. The cards were produced in the 1850s and '60s by several studios, including A. A. Turner (New Orleans), Charles D. Fredricks (New York), E. & H. T. Anthony (New York), Herrick (Vicksburg), Julius Ulke (Washington, D.C.), Mathew Brady (New York), R. M. Linn (Lookout Mountain, Tenn.), and Smith & Joslyn (Vicksburg).
Captions printed or written by the McCardles on the cards appear in quotation marks. Other descriptions were provided by the curator. Images may be accessed through keyword search on the Web site and by subject headings through the MDAH online catalog.
The carte de visite photographs and an album that originally contained several of the cards were donated to MDAH by Annie F. McCardle, daughter of Mrs. Annie E. McCardle, on June 23, 1958. The photographs and album were separated for preservation purposes and the album was transferred to the MDAH Museum Division (accession number 1985.28.1) on April 2, 1985. The MDAH Archives and Records Services Division's Image and Sound section scanned the cartes de visite in 2010, creating preservation-quality TIFF images. These were then converted to JPEG images by the Electronic Archives section and made available online within the MDAH Electronic Archives Graphic User Interface in 2011.