Whitman described this photo as having "a sort of Moses in the burning bush look." Talking about this photo in 1888, Whitman said, "Somebody used to say I sometimes wore the face of a man who was sorry for the world. Is this my sorry face? I am not sorry—I am glad—for the world." "This picture was much better when it was taken—it has faded out" Whitman noted; "I always rather favored it." This portrait might have been taken between an exhibition, which Whitman may have attended, of Alexander Gardner's Antietam photographs at Brady's New York studio in late September 1862 and Whitman's departure for Fredericksburg in December. In an 1863 notebook, Whitman records receiving photos from Brady.