This Civil War scene presents the faces of men and women, young and old, black and white, who display hope, sadness, and defiance. The issue of Union refugees— people fleeing the Southern states—was frequently discussed in Northern newspapers during the war and became the subject for this Philadelphia painter. Who would take them in? What would be their fate? The subject remains relevant today, as refugees displaced by wars worldwide leave loved ones and belongings behind to seek a better life.