Military Images

Finding Aid: March/April 1982

1982-v3-05-iii-cover

The complete issue

Vol. 3, No. 5
(32 pages)

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Inside

Cover Image
The cover features a “dandy” sixth-plate tintype of a fully armed George Maddox, chief scout for Quantrill’s raiders.

Editor’s Page (inside front cover)
The editor introduces a new feature – “The Bulletin Board” – where events that relate to the study of American military history of any era can be listed. The current issue has a number of Confederate articles, the result of a call for more articles of this type. The editor also highlights upcoming issues that readers can look forward to.

Mail Call (pp. 2-3)
A few corrections are made, suggestions for future articles are put forward, and a cautionary tale about knowing one’s memorabilia is offered. The passing of George E. Gorman III is also noted.

Passing in Review (p. 3, 27)
Uniforms of the Continental Army by Philip Katcher is the first review in this issue of Military Images, and is hailed as the new authority on the uniforms worn by the American army and navy of the Revolutionary War era. The next review is of Bushwhackers of the Border: the Civil War Period in Western Missouri by Patrick Brophy, which provides insight into the complex nature of this area and its history. Lastly, Infantry Regiments of the U.S. Army by James Sawicki is reviewed. While it is considered to be a very comprehensive and detailed work, Civil War readers are cautioned that many volunteer regiments are not included unless they had links to units continuing into the 20th century.

Santa Cruz, 1885 by J. Phillip Langellier (pp. 4-8)
Complete with nine images that present insight into this festive encampment, the article describes the first all-state encampment of the California National Guard between August 15 and 23, 1885. Santa Cruz was chosen as a location that was pleasant and easy to reach from across the state, and each company was given funding for 35 attendees, although more could attend if they could manage the expense on their own. The article provides ample detail on uniforms, weaponry, and activities, as well as highlighting the objection of the inspecting regular Army officer to the late nights and the Chinese lanterns that (in his opinion) diminished the martial nature of the event. The images reveal that not very many of the guardsmen objected.

A Confederate Lincoln by Dale S. Snair (p. 9)
It is common knowledge that relatives of Abraham Lincoln’s wife, Mary Todd Lincoln, chose to fight with the South during the Civil War, but it is not as well-known that Abraham Lincoln himself had extended family that resided in Virginia. In a short biographical article accompanied by an image of Benjamin Franklin Lincoln, the reader learns about how a second cousin of the American President became a member of Company H, 10th Virginia Cavalry, riding under Jeb Stuart. Returning to his home at Lacey Spring at some point in 1864, Private Lincoln died of illness or wounds in November of that year.

Eye of the Collector by Kean Wilcox (pp. 10-15)
The author presents 19 images from his collection of photographic images. Wilcox explains that there was no real rhyme or reason behind his purchases, except that he liked them. Many are in cases and as he recently noticed, many are of military men. The current selections have some sort of unique aspect to them, like the quarter-plate ambrotype of an American militiaman wearing a large bearskin busby reminiscent of British, several images of very young Confederates, and one very sharp image of a Federal soldier in which one can see the reflection of the camera in his eyes. The final image is the author’s favorite: a full-plate ambrotype of an outdoor scene at a military academy. Three smaller details are included in close-up and show one tiny guidon bearer, women watching the review from the roof of the building, and one of the cadets or militiamen in the ranks. The image provides one small snapshot of life at the time with plenty of detail for readers of MI to enjoy.

Gettysburg Mystery Photo by William Gladstone (pp. 16-19)
The author shares his acquisition of a well-known Gettysburg image, positively identifying not only the place it was taken, but establishing the true identity of the photographer. Taken “Looking East from Cemetery Hill” by Frederick Gutekunst of Philadelphia, a more modern attempt to look at the details of the image by using current enlarging equipment available to him, the author finds two revealing things that provide some answers, but bring up even more questions. First, the tent in the image is an embalming tent of an unidentified “surgeon” using “Holmes’s Process.” Is this the tent of Thomas Holmes, who perfected the practice of chemical embalming, or the tent of another embalmer who used his process? Secondly, the person in the middle of the image who is leaning against a fence post, is not a conventional soldier, but a woman dressed in a Zouave uniform, a vivandiere who often accompanied and worked with a unit. The author found that this was not just any vivandiere either, but the well-known Marie “French Mary” Tepe who saw distinguished service with the 114th Pennsylvania Infantry. This led to many questions about Mary’s past and what she might have been doing at that location, where her supposed first husband served with the 27th Pennsylvania. The transcript of a newspaper article announcing her intended divorce from her second husband in 1897 accompanies the article “She Feared Not War” from the New York Sunday World, and provides some (questionable) insight into Mary’s military adventures.

Fighting Confederates: A statistical analysis of late-war uniforms by Philip Katcher (pp. 20-23)
By using nine group images of Confederate soldiers, some of which are included with the article, as well as a number of individual portraits selected from a wide variety of publications, the author conducted a statistical analysis of what the “typical” Confederate soldier would wear. After a discussion of the many sampling errors inherent in a study of this nature such a long time after the occurrence and attempts to correct or adjust for some of them, the author was able to determine a statistical average for hats, packs, coats, and belt plates, thereby allowing a much richer picture of what attire a Confederate soldier would have worn to emerge.

General Charles King by Paul L. Hedren (pp. 24-26)
Beginning with a brief biographical background about the “author-soldier” who served during five wars over a 70 year military career, the MI reader then learns about the literary contributions of Charles King. Beginning in 1880, King wrote fiction, histories, and articles set in the military contexts with which he was intimately familiar for reading audiences which appreciated his ability to bring distant scenes to life for them. The article provides photographs of King at the beginning and end of his military career, a group image with the 5th Cavalry in the Black Hills of Dakota Territory, and two illustrations. One depicts an event in his career while the other is a political cartoon critiquing his combining of pen with command during the Spanish-American War.

Stragglers (pp. 28-31)
Contributions from readers include a member of the Coast Guard with unusual uniform items such as cavalry boots, a rare image of a group image from 1898 that includes an NCO holding both the Heavy Artillery First Class Gunner’s Badge and a cat, a previously unpublished cabinet card of George A. Custer in dress uniform from about 1874, and also a few images that request further information from the readership.

Back Cover
This issue features a group image of Yankees settling down with a picnic basket in an imperial size image, probably taken of Butler’s Army of the James.

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