Military Images

Finding Aid: Jan./Feb. 1983

1983-v4-04-iv-cover

The complete issue

Vol. 4, No. 4
(32 pages)

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Inside

Cover Image
This issue’s cover features a rare image of 2nd Lieutenant John F. Reynolds taken between 1841 and 1846 as a member of the 3rd U.S. Artillery.

Editor’s Desk (inside front cover)
The editor presents the cycloramas made by the Bennett Studios in Wisconsin and resurrected for the readers of Military Images for the first time in the 20th century. They are photographs of post-Civil War paintings instead of the usual content, with the details of the paintings were often directed by veterans of the battles, making these particularly instructive images. Instructions for creating the cycloramas are located on page 15.

Mail Call (p. 2)
A few letters from readers disagree with some assertions made in the magazine. One reader thinks that the “Babes in Arms” pictorial that was panned by readers in the recent survey was a delightful article, while another reader disagrees with the assertion that few soldiers tucked their trouser hems into their socks based on the lack of images showing that practice, as few images could be taken in battle at that time due to technology. The author of the article showing images of George A. Custer disagreed with commentary added by the writing staff, which the editor continued to support.

Passing in Review (p. 3)
Three publications are considered in this issue of Military Images. First is Long Endure: The Civil War Period, 1852-1867which is Volume III of Military Uniforms in America edited by John R. Elting and Michael J. McAfee. The volume consists of 64 color plates that have been reprinted with detail descriptions of the antebellum, Civil War (both North and South), and the Mexican conflict against the French Empire. Second is U.S. Navy Rating Badges, Specialty Marks, and Distinguishing Marks, 1885-1982 by John A. Stacey. The publication outlines the changes in the kinds of jobs performed by navy personnel over time, reflecting changes in technology. Finally is a review of Flashman and the Redskins by George MacDonald Fraser, a work of historical fiction that effectively combines a humorous fictional story with real history. The seventh in the series, the reviewer found the work that places the main character at the Little Bighorn, taking part in Custer’s Last Stand.

Company K, 1st Pennsylvania Reserves: The Hometown Boys of Gettysburg by Richard Tibbals (pp. 4-7)
Preferring to be known as the 1st Reserves rather than the 30th Pennsylvania Volunteer Reserve Corps, these boys from Adams County, Pennsylvania, saw their first fighting during the Seven Days campaign. After removing to defend Washington at Fairfax Court House, Virginia (where the well-known but misidentified photograph of musicians retitled “Talley’s Fifers and Drummers, as described in a sidebar article on page 6, was taken), they ended up following Lee’s forces as they moved up towards Pennsylvania in late June 1863. Finding themselves at home, the article follows the unit who shouted “Revenge for Reynolds” as they moved from the Round Tops and across the Wheat Field on the second day of fighting at Gettysburg. They were present to hear the blasts of the artillery barrage on the third day, and could hear Pickett’s Charge against the center of their lines. They took part in the last charge of the Gettysburg fighting when asked to take out Confederate artillery on the far side of the Wheat Field, eventually coming across a burial party on the other side of Rose Farm, whose victims were photographed by Alexander Gardner a few days later, still lined up as the Confederates left them. The article then tells some of the individual stories of the soldiers from Gettysburg as they quietly left their ranks to make sure all was well at home.

Catbalogan, P.I.: The letters of Sgt. Ray Hoover, 43rd Infantry by Sgt, Ray Hoover (pp. 8-11)
Edited by Ron Beifuss, the series of letters presented in this article, along with four images, were written by Sgt. Hoover during his four years of duty in the Philippine Islands from 1899 to 1904. He describes various actions while on Samar and Leyte Islands, including one in which he was recommended for the Medal of Honor. He was eventually promoted to 1st Lieutenant in the Philippine Scouts, a position that he held until his unit was returned to the U.S. to serve at the St. Louis World’s Fair and the Presidential inauguration in 1905. His career ended when court martialed in absentia in March 1905 for intoxication and desertion.

The Lost Cycloramas: Shiloh and Missionary Ridge by Dr. Michael Cunningham (pp. 12-19)
This feature provides the reader with images taken by Henry H. Bennett (Company E, 12th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry), who photographed the cycloramas of Shiloh and Missionary Ridge. Unable to return to his prior occupation as a carpenter due to a hand injury at Paducah, Kentucky, Bennett purchased a photography studio in 1865. He was known for his stereo views of the nearby Wisconsin Dells, outdoor scenes, and Indian portraits. It is believed that the took the photographs of the “Battle of Shiloh” cyclorama during a visit to Chicago in 1887 and the “Battle of Missionary Ridge” during its viewing in Kansas City in late 1883. The reader can follow the instructions and construct a version of the cycloramas by following the cutting and pasting instructions on page 15.

Antebellum Photography by Michael J. Winey (pp. 20-28)
The third article in a series covers both regular army and militia soldiers, many of them not published previously. The 18 different images highlight the uniforms and weaponry carried by the military of the pre-Civil War era ranging from Brevet Brigadier General Thomas Lawson, who began his career in 1809, to Brevet 2nd lieutenants and topographical engineers Orlando M. Poe and William P. Smith, both of whom became chief engineers on opposite sides in the Civil War. The article illustrates the variations in the antebellum uniforms of the state militia soldier as well, with the captions providing as much information about the uniform and individual as possible.

Stragglers (pp. 29-31)
The reader contributions for this issue consists of an image of one of the Navy’s first Chief Petty Officers, a rating first introduced in February 1893. The cabinet card was made in Shanghai, China of an unidentified CPO and is accompanied by close up views of a CPO sleeve badge and a button.

Back Image
A half-plate daguerreotype of three militia members from the 1840s is shown on the back of the issue.

 

 

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