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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 Newspapers.com 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 so much more on staffs of army hospitals. The author examine 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.

The Official Launch of Civil War Photo Sleuth

Kurt Luther, pictured here, in the moment he launched our Civil War Photo Sleuth software on August 1 in the Innovation Lab at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Kurt (head of CWPS), Ron Coddington (editor of Military Images magazine), and the rest of the team introduced guests throughout the day to the website to learn how to identify unknown Civil War photos, find photos of Civil War ancestors, and add identified photos to our reference database.

Attendees included Garry Adelman of the Civil War Trust and the Center for Civil War Photography, Melissa Winn of Civil War Times, Karen Chittenden from the Library of Congress and Tom Liljenquist, whose collection is part of the Library of Congress.

Images and live video of the event were carried on Facebook.

The response was overwhelmingly positive. CWPS is a historic moment for anyone interested in Civil War soldier and sailor photography.

Countdown to the Launch of Civil War Photo Sleuth

Thrilled to announce the public launch of our Civil War Photo Sleuth software in less than two weeks! This software uses face recognition and crowdsourcing to provide powerful new tools for photo research.

To celebrate, we are hosting a launch party Wednesday, Aug. 1, at the U.S. National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. Kurt Luther (head of CWPS), Ron Coddington (editor of Military Images), and the rest of the team will be there. We can help you use the website, identify unknown Civil War photos, find photos of Civil War ancestors, and add identified photos to our reference database.

Both the website and party are completely free and open to all. If you are thinking of coming, please RSVP here (required for security reasons): https://goo.gl/forms/D59pFqZgWn35YF8z2 Hope that many of you can join us!

Make your plans now!

Military Images Live!

On Monday, July 9, the debut episode of MI Live made its debut on Facebook. For all of you who joined us, thank you! If you missed it, now worries. Join us Monday nights at 9 pm ET for a live broadcast from Military Images HQ. We’ll offer up tips and advice for novice and advanced collectors. Have a question you want answered? How about an informed opinion about a unique image? Visit us on Facebook and let us know.

Saluting Four Who Make MI Great

It is my pleasure to announce four individuals who have been promoted to Contributing Editor in recognition of their contributions to Military Images. Their experience, knowledge and generosity touches many of the images and stories you see and read in the magazine. Over the last year, you’ve seen their names listed in the magazine under the heading Special Thanks. Now, they are full-fledged Contributing Editors:

Dan Binder: Dan’s passion for photography is infectious and his knowledge of buttons and equipment impressive. His willingness to share this information to educate and inform is a credit to the collecting community.

Mike Cunningham: Mike’s passion for uniforms, hats and general knowledge of Civil War material culture is outstanding. He also offers strong theories to help explain why we see what we see.

Ron Maness: Ron brings a depth of knowledge of edged weapons that confirms existing identifications and helps us better understand those who are nameless—and hopefully lead to their positive identification.

Phil Spaugy: Phil’s knowledge of muskets and revolvers, and the extent to which he researches them, adds a new layer of information to portraits. His dogged determination to identify weapons, sometimes working with only a small visual fragment, is incredible.

Please join me in congratulating our new Contributing Editors!

Military Images Magazine at the Gettysburg Civil War Show

Join Military Images at the 45th Civil War Artifact and Collectibles Show in Gettysburg, Va. Stop by our table and bringing your best Civil War images—we’ll scan them free of charge and featured selected images in upcoming issues. We’ll be side-by-side with Kurt Luther and Civil War Photo Sleuth, a new website that uses technology and community to rediscover lost identities in American Civil War-era photographs. The show is sponsored by the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association.

Event Details
45th Civil War Artifact and Collectibles Show
Eisenhower Hotel & Conference Center Allstar Expo Complex
2634 Emmitsburg Road
Gettysburg, PA 17325
Saturday, June 30, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday, July 1, 9 a.m.–2 p.m.
Admission: Adults: $8. Children 12 and under free if accompanied by an adult.

July 1 Talk: Cardomania! The Rise and Fall of the Carte de Visite

The Civil War Generation was the first to grow up with photography. This transformative medium made it possible for Americans from all walks of life to preserve their own likeness, a privilege once reserved only for the wealthy. During photography’s early years, daguerreotypes, ambrotypes and tintypes ruled the portrait world. Then, on the eve of the Civil War, a curious new format landed in America—the carte de visite. After hostilities began, hundreds of thousands of citizen soldiers and sailors posed for their likenesses. Countless millions of photographs were produced. Significant numbers of these most intimate and personal artifacts survive today. Some are finding a place among the iconic images of the war. Join Ron Coddington, author of four books of collected Civil War portraits and editor and publisher of Military Images magazine, as he tells the story of the rise and fall of the carte de visite—and what became of them.

Also appearing at the event are our friends from Gettysburg Publishing, represented by Kevin Drake and several of his authors:

  • Mark H. Dunkelman
  • Cindy Small-Jennie Wade of Gettysburg
  • Patricia Rich
  • Scott Mingus, Sr
  • Bernadette Loeffel-Atkins
  • Lisa Shower

Event details:
Sunday, July 1, 5-6 p.m.
Gettysburg Heritage Center
297 Steinwehr Ave.
Gettysburg, PA 17325
No admission charge

For more information, visit:

Our Digital Preservation Effort

The toughest part of my job may surprise you—fielding specific search requests. Want to know how many times the 54th Massachusetts Infantry is mentioned in all of our issues? How about the 6th Virginia Cavalry? I couldn’t tell you without a huge investment in time.

The root of the problem is that there has been no easy way to search our 200-plus issues archive. My predecessors, to their credit, anticipated the need, and created two indexes: one for stories and another for regiments. But they were not maintained and are now out of date. A substantial effort is required to bring them to current times. And they’re not digital native.

I’ve been concerned about how to make 40 years of content available since becoming editor.

Our first effort to address the problem was to create finding aids. We began cataloging in November 2015 and completed the work last December. These aids can now be browsed by volume by volume and issue number in the Back Issues section of our site. Though these finding aids do not satisfy larger search needs, they do document the contents of each issue.

What we really needed was a fully searchable digitized collection. I investigated a few options early on in my tenure, but could not find a way forward.

Everything changed on Sept. 26, 2016, with an email from Robert Sedgwick, a Senior Editor at the non-profit digital library Journal Storage, or JSTOR. “I write today to invite your publication, Military Images, to join our archive,” Sedgwick stated. He added, “Participation in the archive is by invitation, and Military Images was selected after a careful review of its publication history, as well as recommendations from academic librarians and scholars.”

I accepted the offer and soon the archive of printed magazines was in the hands of JSTOR staff. They scanned and converted each page to optical character recognition, then made everything searchable on JSTOR.org. The work finished last month.

The JSTOR team has my eternal gratitude for preserving Military Images for all time.

Thanks to their efforts, Military Images can be searched by anyone. Modest fees apply to download stories and issues. So go forth and explore! Visit jstor.org/journal/militaryimages to begin searching. Before you do, I recommend our guide for how to get the most out of your JSTOR visit. It is available on militaryimages.com.

Oh, and the answers to those questions? The 54th Massachusetts appears 22 times, and the 6th Virginia Cavalry makes 14 appearances.

How to Make the Most of Your Military Images Search on JSTOR

JSTOR offers a powerful search tool to explore Military Images, and has a unique interface to guide you to the best possible results. There are two main ways to access our content:

  • Advanced Search: Using key terms and boolean operators to deliver relevant results, this is a great tool for in-depth fielded searches.
  • Browse: Organized by subject, title and publisher. If you are looking for a specific issue , this is a convenient way to access it.

Military Images recommends the Advanced Search to take full advantage of our full run of issues. Why? Because the JSTOR interface is designed to perform unique searches of value to collectors, historians, genealogists and other enthusiasts. Here’s how it works:

  1. Go to jstor.org and select “Advanced Search.” You don’t need to be logged in to search.
  2. On the search screen, enter key terms in the field boxes and the pull-down menus to connect the terms (and, or, not, near 5, near 10, near 25). You can add additional search boxes as needed. Scroll down to the “Journal of Book Title” field and type in Military Images. Fill in other boxes as desired.
  3. Select “Search.” A new page will load with your results.
  4. Select a search result to purchase a PDF of the story. To complete the purchase you will need to register for an account.

For further information, visit JSTOR’s collection of video tutorials.