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Military Images

Finding Aid: Spring 2015

The complete issue

Vol. XXXIII, No. 2
(60 pages)

No print issues in stock
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Subscribe to MI


Cover image
In this tintype from the Chris Foard collection, Civil War nurse Carrie Wilkins Pollard cared for sick and wounded men in Tennessee, Indiana, Kentucky and on hospital ships, and after hostilities ended she taught orphans.
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Table of Contents (p. 1)
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Editor’s Desk (p. 2)
“A groundbreaking gallery” describes the selection of extraordinary portraits of Northern nurses from the Chris Foard collection—the first gallery in MI history dedicated to women who served as caregivers. Included is this quote from Our Army Nurses by Mary A. Gardner Holland: “The privations and dangers which these noble characters endured called for a fortitude equal in many respects to the valor of the soldier.”
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Mail Call (p. 3)
Feedback from previous issues includes the mis-identification of a bird, the re-identification of a pair of ambrotypes of a North Carolina Confederate in the Library of Congress, and the identification of a South Carolina militia company.
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Passing in Review (p. 4)
“Images from Little Connecticut Leave a Big Impression” is a review of Heroes for All Time: Connecticut Civil War Soldiers Tell Their Stories by Dione Longley and Buck Zaidel.
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Ministering Angels (pp. 5-15)
A selection of images of Civil War nurses from the Chris Foard collection. “Whether motivated by patriotism, a calling or the realization that they were needed, nurses became more skilled and confident treating the wounded throughout the entire war. These men and women were the true pioneers of American nursing,” Foard explains in the introduction. Among the images of identified nurses are Annie Etheridge, Almira Fales, Helen Gilson and “Belle” Reynolds.

Mourning a Martyred President (pp. 16-23)
150 years ago, Northern soldiers observed traditional Victorian fashions and rituals in the wake of the assassination of President and Commander-in-Chief Abraham Lincoln. This photo essay explores the practices through the lens of the citizen soldier.

Men of Connecticut! To Arms!!! (p. 24-33)
More than 50,000 sons of Connecticut participated in the Civil War, and one in 10 would not survive to tell their stories. Whatever their fate, many left behind their patriotic portraits. A representative sample of images compose this exclusive gallery from Heroes for All Time, a new book by Wesleyan University Press.

Faces of 1865 by Bryan Flanagan and Ronald S. Coddington (pp. 34-36)
The tragic fate of two men, a Confederate in Virginia and a federal in Tennessee, at the end of the war. Lt. Charles Minnegerode, an aide to Maj. Gen. Fitzhugh Lee, was shot in the chest and left for dead at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. Lt. Jacob Skirvin of the 7th Indiana Cavalry and a detail of 30 of his comrades got caught in a fierce fight after they were ambushed by Confederate guerillas in Tennessee on April 3, 1865.

The Honored Few (p. 37)
Pvt. Charles A. Taggart of the 37th Massachusetts Infantry wrested a flag away from a Confederate soldier during the Battle of Sailor’s Creek, Va., on April 6, 1865. He was one of 57 men awarded the Medal of Honor for actions that day—47 of which were presented for the capture of enemy flags.

Hard Luck Regiment by Mark H. Dunkelman (pp.38-44)
The 154th New York Infantry was nicknamed the Hardtack Regiment. But justifiably, it could also have been called the Hard Luck Regiment. Perhaps its best known soldier, Sgt. Amos Humiston, became famous when he was identified by means of an ambrotype found in his lifeless hand at the Battle of Gettysburg. A history of the regiment told through the stories of five of its members.

Antebellum Warriors (p. 45)
A shako with a large red and white fountain plume and the brass crossed cannon insignia indicate that the soldier sitting next to it was an artillery militiaman who sat for his daguerreotype between 1854-1860.

Stragglers (pp. 47-51)
Included in this selection of images from MI subscribers are two Confederate images by influential photographers: A Confederate navy officer by Charles R. Rees of Richmond, Va., and an infantryman holding his Enfield rifle by George S. Cook of Charleston, S.C.

Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther (pp. 54-55)
“Confirmation bias, in which we get fixated on a single, preferred confusion—trust me, it’s a young Robert E. Lee!—leads us to disregard any evidence to the contrary, no matter how compelling,” writes columnist Kurt Luther. He goes on to discuss, using a recent experience of his own, how to blaze a path from confirmation bias to airtight identification.

Uniforms & History by Michael J. McAfee (pp. 56-57)
Chevrons are chevrons, right? Not exactly. Mike McAfee shares a sampling of images showing soldiers wearing chevrons of a different stripe. Despite regulations, a surprising number of variations are documented in the visual record of non-commissioned officer portraits from the Civil War period.

The Last Shot (p. 60)
A quarter-plate ruby ambrotype of Christian Funk and three pals prior to his enlistment in Company H of the 210th Pennsylvania Infantry.

The Winter 2015 Lineup: Noble Faces, Ugly Havelocks and a Hellion in Blue

03-p1-tocDelighted to announce the Table of Contents for the Winter 2015 issue. 60 pages of images include a feature gallery by longtime collector and MI contributor Brian Boeve, a gallery of flag bearers from another longtime contributor, Rick Carlile, a guide to the Havelock hat, “Ugly as the Devil,” by MI Senior Editor Ron Field, and “Hellion in Blue,” a wonderful profile of a New York officer.

You’ll also find all our regular departments and two debut departments—Photo Sleuth: Real life accounts on the research trail by Kurt Luther, and The Honored Few, which features Medal of Honor recipients.

If you like what you see, please take this opportunity to subscribe. The annual cost is $24.95 for four quarterly issues—240 pages of original images of citizen soldiers. MI needs your support, so please step forward and march with our army of core subscribers today!

MI Introduces Digital Edition


Pleased to announce that the digital edition of Military Images magazine is now available. Formatted identically to the print version, it is produced directly from the master pdf files sent to the printer. Now you can enjoy all the rare and wonderful images, features and departments in every issue of MI on your laptop, tablet or phone. Single issues are now available for purchase at $7.95 each, and the downloadable pdf is yours to keep. The MI digital edition is powered by Tinypass.

Access the MI digital edition now.

Summer 2014 Cover From the Matt Cranford Collection

Delighted to share the cover image for the summer issue of MI, which will be mailed next week. This sixth-plate ruby glass ambrotype by an anonymous photographer is from the exquisite collection of Matt Cranford. Representative images from his holdings are highlighted in a feature gallery.


Here’s the caption that accompanies the cover image:
A clean-shaven young infantryman is equipped with all the trappings of war. He holds a Model 1816 conversion musket with fixed bayonet in one hand, and grips a single shot percussion pistol in the other. A regulation rubberized canvas backpack with russet leather straps and bedroll is strapped to his back, and hanging from his neck is a black-painted leather haversack and drum canteen. “What’s really striking is the backdrop: A very subtle, low-lying landscape that makes the soldier appear as if he’s marching in high country,” Cranford declares.

Spring 2014 Cover Unveiled


Delighted to share the cover art for the next issue of Military Images. Special thanks to Rick Brown—This image is from his wonderful collection, which is featured prominently in this issue.

MI is scheduled to be printed next week.

If you’re not a subscriber, now is a great time. Sign up today for a one year subscription and receive 4 quarterly issues—plus a fifth issue free!

Subscribe on Amazon

mi-amazonAmazon shoppers now have the ability to subscribe to Military Images magazine. The just released listing includes sample images from the current issue, and this description:

  • A quarterly magazine dedicated to showcasing, interpreting and preserving early photos of U.S. soldiers and sailors. Established in 1979, MI is a favorite with collectors, researchers, and those with an active interest in military history.
  • Each issue is packed with rare and unpublished photographs of citizen soldiers. Informative captions detail the soldier and his war experience. Feature articles and image galleries highlight various aspects of military photography. Regular departments include Mike McAfee’s Uniforms & History column, and “Stragglers,” a gallery of images submitted by subscribers.
  • Founding editor Harry Roach started MI at a time when the importance of vernacular photographs of soldiers was just beginning to be understood and appreciated. Issue after issue, subscribers glimpsed wonderful tintypes, ambrotypes, and cartes de visite. The tradition continues today under the guidance of editor and publisher Ronald S. Coddington.

Live From Charleston!

02One of the most-repeated responses from last summer’s subscriber survey was to have Military Images represented at Civil War shows. This request came from long-time subscribers who remember the days when founding editor Harry Roach set up a table, gave away copies of the magazine, and photographed images from dealers and attendees.

Now, Military Images is back! This weekend, Anne and I attended the Low Country Civil War Show in Charleston, S.C. Following Harry’s lead, we gave away complimentary copies of the latest issue, and set up a scanner to make high-resolution scans of selected images.

We had a wonderful time. The show provided us an opportunity to meet up and thank current subscribers, to welcome returning and new subscribers, and to let everyone know that MI’s mission to showcase, interpret and preserve historic photographs of soldiers and sailors is as important as ever.

01The support we received throughout was wonderful! Cliff Krainik and George Whiteley shared their thoughts and ideas abut the editorial direction of the magazine. Steve Sylvia of North South Trader’s Civil War magazine was super supportive and generously offered his help. Had productive chats with Cary Delery, Richard Ferry and a large group of others.

A heartfelt hanks to each and everyone I met for your enthusiasm and generosity. It fueled my desire to breathe new life into Military Images. The biggest thanks are reserved for Anne, who spent the majority of the show strolling up and down the aisles meeting and greeting folks on both sides of the table. She was absolutely fantastic, and MI is much better for her presence.

Look for Military Images at the DC Photo Show on March 16.

Civil War Trust Interview

coddington-cavalrymen-350Ina Dixon of the Civil War Trust contacted me a couple weeks ago, and asked me to share my perspectives about Military Images magazine and its role in historic photography. An excerpt:

Over time, I’ve come to understand and appreciate that these rare soldier portraits humanize the terrible conflict that raged on our soil during the four bloodiest and most violent years in our nation’s history. When I see these photos, which were personal, intimate objects shared with family, friends and comrades at a time of war, I am reminded of these soldiers’ courage, and my own responsibilities as an American and a world citizen.

It is only in the last few decades, beginning with the centennial of the war in the 1960s, that these old photographic portraits have begun to move from the realm of vernacular photography to become part of the nation’s visual record. Harry Roach, who founded MI in 1979, was in the forefront of those who realized the growing importance of these photographs.

Read the full interview.

I am thrilled to have had the opportunity, and deeply grateful to Ina and the rest of the staff of CWT for the great work they do in preservation and education.

Finding Aid: Sept./Oct. 2005


The complete issue

Vol. XXVII, No. 2
(40 pages)

Purchase back issue (U.S. only, $12.75)
Subscribe to MI


Cover image
A unique ninth-plate ambrotype from the David W. Vaughan collection is a Confederate kepi embellished with a small First National pattern flag, ribbon and dogwood flower. The image was likely to have been made in April 1861.

Table of Contents (p. 1)

Editor’s Desk (p. 2)
The editor provides a moving tribute to Brian Pohanka, “A man of boundless energy and courage who dedicated his all-to-shirt life to the preservation of Civil War battlefields and in the discipline of historical scholarship. Indeed, Brian was one of the finest military historians of our time, a man whose body of work included the authorship of many books, countless magazine article and extensive film work. But his influence on the historical community was even greater than the sum of his work, for he was a true inspiration and mentor to countless men and women, whose passion, like his, was history.” The editor also singles out a story in the current issue about an image of the 17th Michigan Infantry. He points out that Military Images does not agree with the author Charles Joyce’s Aug. 3, 1865, dating of the image, but agreed to publish it on the basis of “its historical merits alone.”

Passing in Review (pp. 3-4)
Two books are mentioned: Generals In Bronze: Interviewing the Commanders of the Civil War (Belle Grove Publishing Company) by William B. Styple and Collecting the Confederacy: Artifacts and Antiques from the War Between the States (Savas Beatie) by Shannon Pritchard.

Last Muster for the “Stonewall Regiment;” The Seventeenth Michigan Infantry Returns To The Wolverine State, Summer 1865 by Charles T. Joyce (pp. 5-14)
The author introduces a newly discovered image of the Michiganders in camp as “singularly deceptive. To even the expert eye, it reveals a war-hardened fragment of a Union infantry regiment drawn up in a weedy field by company in ‘column of divisions.’” What follows is a detailed analysis of the regiment and its key personnel that support the theory that the image was produced on Aug. 3, 1865, on the shores of Grass Lake, Mich. Supporting images include a view of the officers of the 17th in camp in 1865 from the State Archives of Michigan and portraits of Col. William H. Withington, Lt. Col. Frederick W. Swift, Maj. Thomas Mathews, Capt. Christian Rath, Capt. Joseph A. Sudborough, Capt. George Goodsell, Lt. and Adjutant Samuel Sizer, Lt. John S. Maltman, Lt. William Leanhouts, QM. Sgt. John M. Lawrence, Corp. Frank Wright and photographer Corydon Randall.

A Tribute to Brian Pohanka (pp. 15-21)
Brian Caldwell Pohanka (1955-2005) is remembered by numerous colleagues and friends associated with him over the course of his eventful life.

The Custer Cyclorama, Revisited by Charles G. Markantes (pp. 22-31)
Subtitled “The subject of a 1983 article in Military Images, the story of the long-lost Custer Cyclorama is explored again,” the author begins by noting that cyclorama paintings were 19th century versions of virtual reality. He continues on to share the history of the Custer Cyclorama, including surviving images of the painting with original 1983 captions by the late Brian Pohanka.

Uniforms & History by Michael J. McAfee (pp. 32-33)
In “The Third Regiment, Michigan Volunteer Infantry, 1864-1865,” McAfee notes that personal accounts by veterans of the Civil War can be extremely valuable to the student of history, but Four Years Campaigning in the Army of the Potomac by color sergeant D.G. Crotty of the 3rd is unfortunately not a useful reference. McAfee details why the volume raises more questions than it answers, and illustrates his text with a tintype of the color guard of the 3rd and a carte de visite of Anna Etheridge, a nurse who found a home with the boys of the regiment.

The Confederate Soldier (p. 34)
A sixth-plate tintype from the David W. Vaughan collection pictures Pvt. Charles Holtzclaw, who served in Company H of the 6th Virginia Cavalry.

Henley Fugate 63rd Tennessee Infantry C.S.A. by John Sickles (p. 35)
Fugate suffered the loss of an arm at Chickamauga after he was struck by a Union cannon shot. A carte de visite of Fugate and his second wife, likely taken in the 1870s or 1880s, accompanies the narrative.

A Palmetto Artillerist and the Columbia Flying Artillery by John Mills Bigham (pp. 36-37)
John W. Self served as second lieutenant of Waties’ Battery B, Palmetto Battalion of Light Artillery, which was first known as the Columbia Artillery and Columbia Flying Artillery. Details of his military service and a brief history of this artillery organization are included.

Stragglers (p. 38)
Three images include a Union soldier with a Sharps rifle, a young Yank with a Bowie knife and a Colt pocket revolver and an unidentified Confederate soldier wearing color shoulder straps.

Sutler’s Row (p. 39)

The Last Shot (p. 40)
A carte de visite from the Chris Nelson collection pictures two Kentucky National Guardsmen portraying Confederates.

Finding Aid: July/Aug. 2005


The complete issue

Vol. XXVII, No. 1
(48 pages)

Purchase back issue (U.S. only, $12.75)
Subscribe to MI


Cover image
A sixth-plate ferrotype from the Brad L. Pruden collection is a portrait of a member of the Tyler Guard, which became Company G of the 7th Ohio Infantry. The soldier sits on a packing crate labeled “Camp Dennison.”

Table of Contents (p. 1)

Editor’s Desk and Mail Call (p. 2)
The editor introduces “a unique view of the great State of Ohio in the Civil War” through representative examples of the 300,000 volunteers who served from the Buckeye State.

Through The Camera’s Eye: Part One, Ohio Soldiers 1861 by Larry M. Strayer and Brad L. Pruden (pp. 5-13)
The authors document the varied uniforms worn by Ohioans in 1861. A total of 22 period images are showcased. Identified soldiers include William S. Wickham of the 8th Infantry, Frank Bell of the 18th Infantry, the field officers of the 1st and 2nd infantries in late April 1861, a squad of five soldiers who served in Company K of the 11th Infantry, George L. Waterman of the 1st Infantry, Oscar Ladley of the 16th Infantry, Joseph Wright of the 20th Infantry, Company E of the 5th Infantry in June 1861, Joel C. Tracy of the 3rd Ohio Infantry, Asbury Oldroyd of the 16th Infantry, officers of the 14th Infantry about the summer of 1862, Lancelot L. Scott of the 18th Infantry, Homer Yates of the 1st Light Artillery and a drummer believed to be William V. Haines of the 49th Infantry.

Through The Camera’s Eye: Part Two, Ohio Soldiers 1862-1864 by Larry M. Strayer and Brad L. Pruden (pp. 14-22)
The authors document the evolution to standardized uniforms and equipment in the second wave of enlistments through the “veteran’s craze” of 1864. A total of 19 period images are showcased. Identified soldiers include Lycurgus Bishop of the 1st Light Artillery, four men from Company C of the 9th Infantry, members of the Pearl Street Rifles of the Cincinnati Home Guard about 1862, sergeants of Company A of the 34th Infantry (Piatt’s Zouaves), Company I of the 42nd Infantry at Plaquemine, La., in January 1864, field and staff officers of the 47th Infantry, Col. Augustus Parry and Capt. George M. Ziegler of the 47th Infantry, John K. Duke of the 53rd Infantry, Aaron J. Glathart of the 57th Infantry, James A. Bridges of the 70th Infantry, John Warner of the 76th Infantry, Charles D. Miller of the 76th Infantry, Charles D. Rathbone with the flag of the 24th Infantry, James Gallagher of the 78th Infantry, the funeral bier of Capt. Martin Armstrong of the 81st Infantry, Benjamin P. Brandt of the 120th Infantry and William F Barr of the 121st Infantry and 4th Battalion of the Pioneer Brigade.

Through The Camera’s Eye: Part Three, Ohio Veterans 1865 by Larry M. Strayer and Brad L. Pruden (pp. 23-27)
The authors document the last months of the war and the rush by soldiers to remember their service with badges and photographs. A total of 12 period images are showcased. Identified soldiers include William S. Friesner of the 58th Infantry, Joseph McElroy of the Veteran Volunteer Corps, Robert N. Traver of the 2nd Veteran Volunteer Corps, Richard Lemon of the 3rd Veteran Volunteer Corps, David R. Sims of the U.S. Navy with his wife Adelaide and daughter Lissa, Gen. Stephen J. McGroarty of the 82nd Infantry and his staff, Col. John W. Fuller of the 27th Infantry, Gen. John W. Sprague of the 17th Corps and his staff, James A. Kittle and Alonzo Corser with the regimental colors of the 55th Infantry, The daughter of Col. Jack Casement of the 103rd Infantry standing with the national flag of her father’s regiment and Capt. Warren W. Cooke with lieutenants George M. Young and William H. Wood of the 14th Infantry.

“Family Honor:” Mortimer and Wells Leggett in the Civil War photos from the collections of Larry Strayer and David Neville (p. 28)
A portrait of Maj. Gen. Mortimer D. Leggett pictured as colonel of the 78th Ohio Infantry and two images of Wells W. Leggett, a wartime view as chief engineer of the 17th Corps and a postwar portrait as a West Point cadet.

Six Buckeyes From The Collection of Stephen Altic (pp. 29-31)
Portraits include Pvt. Benjamin Franklin Coffman, Corp. Thomas J. Coen and an unidentified member of the 1st Infantry, an unidentified member of the 54th Infantry and privates William H. Hay and Allen Worthington of the 71st Infantry.

George Crook by Mark Kasal (pp. 32-33)
Four portraits picture the noted Union cavalry general.

Charles Jesson: Requiem for a Cannoneer by Mike Fitzpatrick (p. 34)
English-born Jesson began his war service with the 25th Ohio Infantry in 1861 and died of disease in May 1863—just two months after he received his corporal’s stripes.

William S. Bowman: Game Lad with a Gimp Leg by Mike Fitzpatrick (p. 35)
The Ohioan was only 16 when he enlisted in his home state’s 77th Infantry in the fall of 1861. After a bout of typhoid fever left him lame, he spent the rest of the war as a clerk, nurse and other less physically strenuous duties.

Ohioans From the Collection of Ken Turner (pp. 36-37)
Portraits include Pvt. William Lewis of the 5th Cavalry, Lt. John A. Mendenhall of the 75th Infantry (captured at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863), Frank Rockefeller of the 7th Infantry (brother of John D. Rockefeller), Sgt. George H. Jordan of the 1st Light Artillery and Lt. Col. James S. Crall of the 82nd Infantry with his counterpart in the 101st Illinois Infantry, John B. LeSage.

Ohio Cartes de Visite From the Collection of Steven A. Morr (pp. 38-39)
Portraits include Capt. William J. Colliflower of the 63rd Infantry, Capt. Jacob G. Bittinger, Capt. William H. Farber, Capt. Alonzo W. Hancock and Pvt. Isaac M. Thomas of the 64th Infantry, Pvt. Perry J. Maine of the 15th Infantry, 1st Lt. William A. Bell of the 4th and 65th infantries, Asst. Surg. John McCurdy of the 23rd Infantry and Asst. Surg. Nathan S. Richardson of the 118th Infantry.

Michael Hammerson’s Buckeyes (pp. 40-42)
Portraits include a hospital steward identified as Henry Hisler of the 103rd Infantry, a bewhiskered sergeant photographed in Cincinnati, Pvt. Edson M. Schryver of the 114th Infantry and 1st Louisiana Cavalry, Pvt. John P. Hall of the 7th Ohio Cavalry and four soldiers from the 37th Infantry: Capt. Paul Wittich, 1st Lt. Theodore Nieberg, 1st Lt. Jacob Ritter and 2nd Lt. William Weiss.

Ohioans From the Collections of Our Readers (pp. 43-46)
Portraits include Sgt. John Franklin Shearer of the 94th Infantry, a young infantryman standing at “Order Arms,” a fully equipped soldier photographed in Cincinnati, troopers from the 1st Cavalry, twin brothers Edward L. (52nd Infantry) and Fredrick P. Anderson (181st Infantry), a soldier dressed in a mounted enlisted man’s overcoat and Maj. John B. Rice of the 72nd Infantry with Capt. Richard B. Wood of the 3rd Cavalry, a soldier with what nay be a 23rd Corps badge, a soldier who served in the 4th or 8th infantries, Capt. David H. Moore of the 87th Infantry and Maj. George L. Wood of the 125th Infantry.

Sutler’s Row (p. 47)

The Last Shot (p. 48)
A circa 1888 cabinet card from the Chris Nelson collection pictures veterans of Grand Army of the Republic Post No. 23 gathered around the cannon “Millennium” which is composed of buckeyes.