Finding Aid: Autumn 2018

The complete issue

Vol. XXXVI, No. 4
(80 pages)

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Cover image
A sixth-plate tintype from the Kevin Canberg Collection pictures a Union veteran seated on a tree trunk with canteen in hand.
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Table of Contents (p. 1)
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Editor’s Desk (p. 2)
In “Introducing The Citizenry,” the editor provides background on a new department to recognize the generation who supported soldiers and sailors in blue and gray through original portrait photographs and stories.
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Mail Call (pp. 3-4)
Feedback includes an early birthday gift for the state of Maine, an emotional reunion with a family photo, a newly discovered photo of George L. Fisher, the durable man of Hagerstown, Md., and a commentary on probably props.
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Military Anthropologist (p. 4)
An analysis of more than 25,000 photograph citations on reveals that the Civil War is a time of transition for photographic formats. Ambrotypes dominated in 1861. Four years later, the carte de visite ruled.
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Passing in Review (p. 6)
The Soldiers of Fort Mackinac: An Illustrated History (Michigan State University Press) by Phil Porter documents the many soldiers who passed through the fort, including future Union and Confederate generals, during its active operations from 1780 to 1895.
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Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther (pp. 8-9)
In “A New Era in Photo Sleuthing Begins,” Kurt reviews the history of Civil War Photo Sleuth from its soft launch in Gettysburg in 2017 to the official launch inside the Innovation Hub at the National Archives on Aug. 1, 2018. Kurt also discusses early feedback and next steps to fulfill its mission “to recover the names and stories behind every surviving Civil War-era portrait.”

Antebellum Warriors (p. 10)
A sixth-plate daguerreotype from the Paul Reeder Collection is a portrait believed to be a member of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia.

Most Hallowed Ground (p. 12)
Capt. Adam Kramer and 86 of his troopers in the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry launched a successful raid in North Carolina during the closing days of the war. Born and educated in Germany, he started his military service before the war with the 2nd U.S. Dragoons and continued on after the war with the 6th U.S. Cavalry.

The Honored Few (p. 14)
Robert Frank Shipley, a sergeant in the 140th New York Infantry, captured the flag of the 9th Virginia Infantry during the Battle of Five Forks—one of 17 soldiers to receive the honor for this engagement. How he came to capture the flag and what happened to the banner after the war are reported here.

The Citizenry (p. 16)
The inaugural department dedicated to images of the Civil War generation is a portrait of Kentuckians Elizabeth Taylor Nelson and John Rowzee Green.

Antietam Album with an introduction by John Banks (pp. 18-23)
A survey of 10 portraits of Union and Confederate soldiers who became casualties in the bloodiest single-day battle of the Civil War. Two Confederate and eight Union soldiers are profiled.

Blue & Gray Badges of Courage: Representative images from the Kevin Canberg Collection (pp. 24-34)
Kevin Canberg’s journey as a collector began with an unusual Father’s Day gift for his dad—a vintage fireman’s badge from Brooklyn, N.Y. Since then, Canberg has amassed an impressive collection of ambrotypes and tintypes of Union and Confederate soldiers.

The Linns of Lookout: The enterprising brothers behind a legendary photograph gallery by Dr. Anthony Hodges, with images from the author’s collection (pp. 36-43)
In this first installment of a three-part series, we meet two brothers who documented the scene of one of the great moments in Civil War history—the Nov. 24, 1863, Battle of Lookout Mountain during the Chattanooga Campaign. Images include various views of the area around Lookout Mountain, the gallery and several of the best known individual and group portraits.

Civil War Daguerreotypes: Last of photography’s celebrated first format by Ronald S. Coddington with daguerreotypes from the Mike Medhurst Collection (pp. 44-46)
By the start of the war, the daguerreotype’s reign was at an end as cheaper formats chipped away at its once-dominant market position. Two surviving examples of Civil War soldiers remind us of the end of one era and the beginning of another.

Taxing the Sun: The revolution to repeal and replace the stamp act on photos by Richard Leisenring, Jr. (pp. 47-50)
The federal government needed to pay for an expensive war and looked to tax goods and services to pay for it. Photographs were among the items singled out. We explore the events that led to the tax, and how Mathew Brady and other leading photographers killed it.

Overworked, Undermanned and Indispensable: Hospital stewards in the Civil War by William T. Campbell, Ed.D, RN (pp. 52-56)
Hospital stewards were pharmacists and much more on staff at army hospitals. The author examines their role, responsibilities, selection process and uniforms.

Rescuing Joe Parsons: A researcher’s unexpected journey to connect a face to a mythic tale by Alison Renner (pp. 57-60)
Newspapers across the Union carried the story of two soldiers who lay wounded on the battlefield of Antietam, a blinded Yankee and a rebel unable to walk, who joined forces to make a daring escape. The Union soldier, Pvt. Joseph Parsons of the 2nd Maryland Infantry, lived the rest of his days in darkness and his story faded from American history—until the author and her husband found his portrait in a local antique shop.

Fateful Final Lesson: A schoolteacher-soldier’s journey to Andersonville by Earvin Lee Joyner, Jr. (pp. 62-65)
John William Partridge, a New England educator, started his Civil War military service with the 25th Massachusetts Infantry and he later joined the Signal Corps. Captured during a Confederate raid in New Bern, N.C., his journey ended at Andersonville Prison.

The Defier and other Union archetypes by a master lensman by Jim Frasca (pp. 66-67)
A uniquely, thoughtfully posed selection of 7 Civil War cartes de visite by Frank Rowell of Providence, R.I., a refreshingly innovative photographer whose contributions to the art have been largely forgotten.

The Great American Civil War Cigar Gallery (pp. 69-76)
Tobacco was hailed as the soldier’s constant companion—when he could find it—by some and also as a wicked habit by others. In this gallery, we celebrate those who enjoyed a good smoke in front of the camera.

Stragglers: Distinctive Images from MI contributors (pp. 78-79)
“Sergeants in Blue” features eight images of Union men who wore the three-striped chevrons on their sleeves.

The Last Shot (p. 80)
A carte de visite from the Mike Medhurst Collection is a portrait of Granville Moody, the “Famous Fighting Methodist Preacher” who served as colonel of the 74th Ohio Infantry and ended the war as a brevet brigadier general. Moody inscribed the back of the image with a record of marriage vows he administered to John W. Widney and Mary A. Fitzwater Brown of Orange, Ohio.

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