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Military Images

Finding Aid: May/June 1982

1982-v3-06-iii-cover

The complete issue

Vol. 3, No. 6
(32 pages)

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Inside

Cover Image
This issue features an enlargement of a carte de visite image of what appears to be the formation of an infantry company during the Civil War.

Editor’s “Corner” (inside front cover)
Due to an increase in the amount of advertising in the current issue, the editor is limited to just a small space, where he announces a change to a higher gloss paper, the increase of subscribers, and that there are subscribers in all states and ten foreign countries.

Mail Call (p. 2)
Readers provide clarification on two issues: the identification of a Coast Artillery Reserve badge in use between 1910 and 1917 and the manufacture of Pennsylvania battle flags during the Civil War.

Company D, 4th Texas Cavalry: A look at the “Ellis County Bengal Tigers” by Danny Sessums (p. 3)
The photograph presented by the author was made in either late 1863 or early 1864, and shows the recruitment effort for a trans-Mississippi company of the Arizona Brigade, 4th Texas Cavalry. The article describes the uniforms, weaponry, and accoutrements used by the men in the image. The value of this rare image, as stated by the author, is that it challenges the belief that trans-Mississippi units were not well-armed.

Battle at Bacalod: Action in the Philippine Islands, 1903 by George M. Cress (pp. 4-7)
Six pictures taken by the unit chaplain illustrate the challenges facing Captain John J. “Black Jack” Pershing and his 15th Cavalry soldiers during their fighting at the fortress outside Bacalod on the island of Mindanao. Complete with moats, parapets, and walls as thick as they were tall, the Americans were fighting Moro guerillas who were challenging U.S. occupation. The article also includes images of Hospital Steward Charles Lincoln Leonard, his military awards and insignia, and a portrait of him in a St. Louis Fire Department uniform when he returned from his service in 1905.

Samuel Dana Greene, U.S.N.: Executive Officer of the Monitor by Charles S. Schwartz (pp. 8-9)
With a lineage of military and public service behind him, including Nathaniel Greene of the American Revolution, Samuel Dana Greene was the second in command of the Monitor during her famed battle against C.S.S. Virginia in the Civil War. He directed each shot fired by the Monitor and when the machinery failed during the fighting, he personally directed the positioning of the turret by hand when the mechanism broke. Taking command of the vessel when the commander was injured, the erroneous perception, outlined in the article, that Greene retreated from the fight dogged him for years. One may assume that this unrelenting criticism led to his suicide at the age of 44 in 1884.

U.S. Army Uniforms of the Civil War, Part IV: The Jacket by Michael J. McAfee (pp. 10-15)
This pictorial article provides the background of the military jacket as worn by Federal enlisted soldiers. Originally beginning with the shell jacket, which was to end at the natural waistline of the soldier, the jacket was adapted to the “uniform” jacket, which extended a few inches lower, generally below the beltline. Often discussed interchangeably, there are distinctions, and as the 16 images provided in the article show, there were also many variations. Some were for specific reasons, such as to accommodate the wearing of a saber belt, but others were personalized and still others were very unusual.

Johnny Came Marching Home: Recollections of Company E. 3rd Army Composite Regiment by Merwin Silverthorn and John A. Stacey (pp. 16-19)
Based on interviews with Lt.Gen. Silverthorn, U.S.M.C., Ret. along with his personal papers and photographs, the author describes the experience of the unit, which was designed to serve as a ceremonial unit and honor guard for General John J. Pershing, Commander of the American Expeditionary Forces, at the end of World War One. The article describes the process and training of the company, of which 1Lt. Silverthorn was deputy officer. The photographs include a panoramic image of the company with an enlargement of the commanders, images from a few of the celebratory parades in which the regiment took part, and some of the enlisted men of Company E.

Passing in Review (p. 20)
The first of three reviews in this issue of Military Images is entitled Regimental Strengths at Gettysburg by John W. Busey and Dr. David Martin. This limited edition of 1000 copies attempts to fine-tune the strengths of both the Federal and Confederate armies that met at Gettysburg. The second publication is E.M. Collar Insignia, 1907-1926 by L. Albert Scipio II, which provides the history, specifications, and other information regarding the collar disks worn by Army personnel in a highly organized format. The final review is of If the South Won Gettysburg by Mark Nesbit. While the first part of the book recounts the facts up to July 2, the second half looks at “what if” Robert E. Lee had followed James Longstreet’s suggestion.

Memoirs of a Rebel, Part II: Chancellorsville and Gettysburg by John Calvin Gorman (pp. 21-25)
Edited by a descendant, the memoirs of Captain John Calvin Gorman of Company B, 2nd North Carolina Regiment follow him through the Battle of Chancellorsville as well as the three days at Gettysburg. The first story is a humorous tale about how two Southern women across a river gave Gorman a clue that the Yankees were going to be crossing soon, which they did the next day. Becoming more serious, the reader gets a sense of what it was like to be part of Jackson’s flanking maneuver that Chancellorsville is known for. Gorman recounts Jackson’s wounding and then is present to receive the congratulations from Jeb Stuart, who took command the next day. The next part of the memoir recounts moving up towards Pennsylvania and how the Confederates were greeted by liberated Southerners and by Union supporters when they got to Martinsburg. Very telling is Gorman’s reflections on the situation at the end of the first day at Gettysburg, which he says would not have ended as it did had “Old Jack” still been with them. He and his men heard the sounds of preparation during the night, and awoke to face the gathered Union Army that had previously been in retreat. He describes the second and third day, and preparations for a moonlight attack which never took place.

Portrait of a General: John Newton by James F. Neel (p. 27)
A cabinet photograph copy of the original carte de visite image taken after his promotion to brigadier at the end of March, 1863, the previously unpublished portrait of John Newton accompanies this biographic article. Newton was known for having accompanied his brigade commander John Cochrane and gone to both Secretary of War Seward and President Abraham Lincoln to remove Ambrose Burnside from command after the disaster at Fredericksburg. After the first day at Gettysburg, Newton was selected to replace fallen General John Reynolds as the commander of I Corps until 1864 and his corps was reorganized out of existence. After the Civil War, Newton returned to his original role as an Army engineer, eventually becoming the commander of the Corps of Engineers. Upon retirement, he was elected the president of the Panama Railroad Company.

Stragglers (pp. 28-31)
This edition of stragglers features several individual images of soldiers with unusual insignia that require identification, and hopes that the readership can provide enlightenment. Also included is a carte de visite outdoor image of Yankees crowded outside of a photographer’s studio, with samples of his work hanging on the walls outside. A large image of a Pawnee chief taken in Mathew Brady’s studio about 1885 completes the reader submissions.

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