What did I do?
I removed specks and scratches from the background, smoothing it over to give it a softer feel. Then I removed specks and scratches, as well as minor noise from the face and clothes. Lastly, I lightened the highlights and darkened the shadows, thus making the portrait feel more alive.
*Original photo taken with gratitude from the US National Archives. Photographed by Mathew Brady, circa 1863.