Finding Aid: March/April 1995

The complete issue

Vol. XVI, No. 5
(40 pages)

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Cover image
A sixth-plate tintype from the Herb Peck Jr. Collection pictures a Union soldier armed with a Hall carbine and a Model 1851 Colt Navy revolver.

Editor’s Desk (p. 3)
The editor announces that a recent run of back issue purchases has practically wiped out the stock, and congratulates Lawrence Jones and his staff on the 20th anniversary of the Confederate Calendar.

Mail Call (pp. 4-5)
Letters include a portrait of Confederate sailor John Grimball, who was not included in the recent story about his photograph album, feedback on American Hussars, painted backdrops and more.

A Jersey Journey: Being the perambulations of the 10th New Jersey Infantry, Late Olden’s Legion by Joseph G. Bilby (pp. 6-13)
A profile of the regiment is illustrated with 14 portrait photographs. All but one is identified, including a group portrait of John Menish, William Wright and Benjamin Harris, and individual views of Henry O. Ryerson, Charles H. Tay, John Johnson, Henry Perrine, Richard Herring, William Snowden, James Jordan and others.

California’s Collodion Artist: The images of William Dunniway by Floyd D.P. Øydegaard (pp. 14-19)
This survey includes 14 modern images of reenactors. At first glance, they appear to wartime portraits. But a closer look reveals slight differences that do not mesh with originals from the period.

On to Canada! … Again? A history of the Fenian invasion of 1872 by Bill Goble (pp. 22-25)
The author notes in his introduction, “To many Irish-Americans the Civil War was merely a prelude to the real struggle.” What follows is the story of the Fenians and their struggle, illustrated by portraits of leaders Thomas Sweeny and Samuel P. Spear. Also included are four related outdoor views and a photo postcard that has been incorrectly identified as Fenians.

William Spencer McCaskey: U.S. Volunteer, U.S. Regular, and A Lancaster Fencible by Hartman McIntosh (pp. 26-28)
A Pennsylvanian, McCaskey began his war service in the Lancaster Fencibles, a local militia company, which became part of the 1st Pennsylvania Infantry, a 90-day regiment. He went on to help recruit Company B of the 79th Pennsylvania Infantry and with this regiment served through the rest of the war. He joined the Regular army in 1866 and found himself at Fort Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory when the Battle of the Little Bighorn occurred. It fell to him to break the news of George Armstrong Custer’s death to the deceased colonel’s wife, Libby. McCaskey later earned his brigadier’s star and commanded troops during the Spanish-American War. Three portraits of McCaskey, taken at different times during his long military career, illustrate the text.

Mr. Hall’s Breechloader by John Sickles (pp. 29-30)
A weapons analysis is a history of this carbine, which was first patented by John Hancock Hall in 1811. Though improved during the years, it was considered obsolete by the start of the Civil War. Three portraits of unidentified Union soldiers posed with the carbine illustrate the text.

Uniforms & History by Michael J. McAfee (p. 31)
In “8th Regiment, New York Volunteer Infantry (‘1st German Rifles’),” McAfee provides details about the uniform and history of this regiment of immigrants raised by Louis Blenker in 1861. A portrait of an unidentified private in the regiment illustrates the text.

Stragglers (pp. 32-34)
Solo photos of the humorous and the unusual from the collections of our readers includes a Yank with knife and revolver, an unidentified militia company, officers posed around a pond, the color party of the 10th Kentucky Infantry and more.

Pop Quiz No. 477: Can you identify these soldiers? (p. 35)
Three images, each with multiple choice answers, are featured.

Passing in Review (pp. 36-37)
Five publications are mentioned, including The Pattons: A Personal History of an American Family (Crown Publishers) by Robert H. Patton, Supplement to the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Broadfoot Publishing) edited by Janet Hewett, Noah Andre Trudeau and Bryce Suderow, Letters from a Sharpshooter: The Civil War Letters of Private William Green…2nd U.S. Sharpshooters, 1861-65 (University Press of Virginia) edited by William Hastings and more.

Sutlers’ Row (pp. 39-40)

Back cover
A reprint of a soldier posed in front of the “Withered Tree” backdrop. It was originally published (poorly) in the July-August 1994 issue.

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