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Military Images

Finding Aid: Spring 2014

2014-v32-02-xxxii

The complete issue

Vol. XXXII, No. 2
(56 pages)

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Inside

Cover image
A sixth-plate tintype from the collection of Rick Brown shows a youthful Union soldier wielding a cavalry sword and M1860 Colt revolver. The contrast between his youthful appearance and his intense gaze is captured in this image, which prominently features his weaponry.

Table of Contents (p. 1)

Editor’s Desk (p.2)
Showcase. Interpret. Preserve. This issue of Military Images reiterates the stated core mission of the publication which “is as important now as when the first issue of MI rolled off the press in the summer of 1979.” The personal portraits of citizen soldiers and the images of ordinary life 150 years ago have come to take a place in the visual history of the United States, from well-known photographic pioneers like Mathew Brady and Alexander Gardner to those of unknown or forgotten photographers. Their work still captures the imagination of collectors both old and new, remaining the focal point of Military Images today and into the future.

Lines of Fire: Iconic Images of Civil War Soldiers From the Rick Brown Collection (pp. 3-27)
This selection of 26 images is from the collection assembled by Rick over the past 15 years. The collection includes ambrotypes and tintypes that provide a study of the equipment, uniforms, and weaponry of both Union and Confederate soldiers, as well as highlighting the aesthetics and imagery of the photographs themselves. The selection provided here includes the issue’s cover image that shows a contrast between youth and determination; a Federal cavalry trooper posing with five firearms and a sheathed saber that shows the industrial potential of the North; a Union soldier likely from the 23rd New York Infantry shown prepared for the fight, with a wonderfully balanced composition between the subject and the background.

Passing in Review (p. 28)
The new publication, Faces of Fort Fisher, 1861-1864 by Chris E. Fonvielle, Jr., is reviewed.

Antebellum Warriors (p. 29)
A soldier from the Mexican War era is featured in this photograph. Various unique features found on his cap and uniform make a clear identification of his belonging to a particular regiment difficult.

A Picture of Treason: The Military Commission Trial of Maj. Henry Kyd Douglas, C.S.A. by Jonathan W. White (pp. 30-33)
The article discusses the trial of one of Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson’s former staff officers, Major Henry Kyd Douglas, who was tried with treason. At the suggestion of a young lady, Douglas went to have his photograph taken at the studio of Thomas L. Darnell on May 5, 1865, in Shepherdstown, W.V. His crime was returning to his friend’s home still wearing his Confederate uniform after having the portrait made. “Seldom even in these strange times has so small an act been so grossly misconstrued so greatly exaggerated so trivial a fault so grievously answerable,” Maj. Douglas told the court.

Uniforms & History by Michael J. McAfee (pp. 34-37)
The article “Zouaves of ‘64” examines the continuing use of the zouave styled uniform in a series of 9 images from the author’s collection, debunking the common belief that the zouave uniform went the way of the Havelock after the first year of the Civil War.

Battle Shirt! A Field Guide to Unusual Patterns of Civil War Shirts by Ron Field (pp. 39-44)
An examination of the various types of battle dress known as battle, hunting, Garibaldi, or fire shirts is provided. The article includes 12 images that illustrate the garment’s origins, variations in design, and different styles from both Northern and Southern regiments beyond the well-known red battle shirt of Confederate General A.P. Hill.

Stragglers (pp. 45-50)
MI subscribers have provided a wide sampling of 13 unique photographs. The feature starts off with a heartwarming story of Mary Harman, holding their infant daughter in her lap and a photograph of her husband Samuel Harman in her hand. It is paired with an image of Samuel Harman holding the tintype sent to him by his wife. Also included are two different tintypes of an unidentified Federal soldier taken at the same time, but were separated over time. Collector Matthew Fleming reunited the images after finding one in California and the other in Michigan.

A Conspicuous Target: Maj. William Ellis, 49th N.Y. Infantry, at the Bloody Angle by Scott Valentine (pp. 51-52)
The author tells the story behind a carte de visite in his collection. Major William Ellis was a Canadian serving as an officer with the rank of major in the 49th NY Infantry. A veteran of several significant battles, Ellis’ wound at the Bloody Angle in May 1864 “ranks as one of the most bizarre battlefield injuries on record.”

The Last Shot (p. 56)
This carte de visite is of Captain George Albert Gerrish of the 1st New Hampshire Light Artillery and his wife, Caroline Parker (Kimball) Gerrish. This affectionate portrait is part of the collection of Rick Brown, and is a favorite of his mother, who insisted that he add it to his collection.

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