A close-up of this young Civil War Soldier wearing a New York style jacket in this ca. 1864 ambrotype reveals he might have gone to sea before the War. When sailors crossed the equator for the first time, one ear was pierced. The second was pierced upon crossing the second time. Many examples of civil war soldiers with ear rings have been found on men who were known not to be sailors. There were other reasons for piercings: style, fashion, belief in health improvement, and choice.