Archives for : Military Images

Finding Aid: Autumn 2019

The complete issue

Vol. XXXVII, No. 4
(80 pages)

No print issues in stock
Download PDF from JSTOR ($16.00)
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Cover image
A sixth-plate daguerreotype from the Dr. William Schultz Collection pictures an officer wearing an 1851 regulation dress uniform and a woman who wears a cross around her neck.
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Table of Contents (p. 1)
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Editor’s Desk (p. 2)
The editor recalls to the late Michael J. McAfee, a longtime columnist for MI and a giant in the community of collectors.
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Mail Call (pp. 3-4)
Feedback includes tributes to Mike McAfee, the backstory about the discovery of the daguerreotype of general and future president Franklin Pierce published in the last issue.
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Military Anthropologist (p. 4)
A look at the number of active duty army and navy personnel in the U.S. military between 1848 and 1861.

Passing in Review (p. 6)
Behind the Rifle: Women Soldiers in Civil War Mississippi by Shelby Harriel (University Press of Mississippi), and The Maryland Brigade by Daniel Carroll Toomey (Toomey Press).
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Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther (pp. 8-10)
In “Evidence-Based Tips for Using Civil War Photo Sleuth,” Kurt discusses how two forms of automation, face recognition and filtering military records, eliminate potential portraits and narrow the possible choices to identify an individual.

Antebellum Warriors (p. 12)
A sixth-plate daguerreotype from the Dr. William Schultz Collection is a portrait of an infantryman dressed in the blue fatigue jacket from 1836 and a Model 1840 officer’s sword.

The Honored Few (p. 14)
Samuel Cole Wright suffered numerous wounds and injuries during his four years in uniform with the 3rd and 29th Massachusetts infantries. During his service in the last-named regiment, he was wounded in both legs during the fighting at the Battle of Antietam’s Bloody Lane. He received the Medal of Honor for his courage.

Most Hallowed Ground (p. 14)
John William Fenton, a captain in the 132nd New York Infantry, was brought up on charges after he assaulted the owner of a saloon in New Bern, N.C., in late 1864. His actions resulted in a dishonorable discharge, which was overturned after his comrades petitioned to allow him to resign with honor. His post-war life took him to Washington, D.C., where he died in 1891 and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Citizenry by Ron Field(p. 18)
The Haley brothers opened a store in New Market, N.H., on the eve of the Civil War. The building, pictured in this wartime stereo card, produced fatigue blouses and coats for several state regiments. A crowd is gathered in front of the store.

Fakes, Forgeries and Frauds by Perry Frohne (pp. 20-21)
In his inaugural column, “Develop Your Sixth Sense for Fakes,” Perry tells the origin story of fakes, and discusses resources to help you combat fake images with knowledge.

Between Guadalupe Hidalgo and Secession: A survey of military portraits of West Pointers and Regulars on the western frontier by Dr. William Schultz (pp. 22-30)
This is the second in a multi-part series of pre-Civil War military portrait photography from the collection of Dr. William Schultz. Included are several men who went on to serve in the Union and Confederate armies—Confederate surgeon Robert Little Brodie, Capt. Martin Mullins of the 5th U.S. Infantry, and Union generals George Crook, Henry Prince and Henry Walton Wessels.

The Great American Civil War Pipe Gallery (pp. 31-38)
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, a companion to last autumn’s cigar feature, we celebrate those who enjoyed the soldier’s and sailor’s solace in front of the camera.

Cultural Ambassador: On diplomacy’s front lines in Morocco and elsewhere with Albert L. Gihon, U.S. Navy by Ronald S. Coddington (pp. 40-45)
Gihon, a career navy officer, hailed from a  family of adventurers that included his father, who participated in the California Gold Rush, and his brother, a prominent Philadelphia photographer. Gihon’s adventures took him to the coast of North Africa, where he and his shipmates on the St. Louis played a role in U.S.-Moroccan diplomacy.

Captured by the Lens in Bermuda: The Confederate Photography of S.W. Gault by Fred D. Taylor (pp. 46-50)
Tennessee’s Samuel Walter “S.W.” Gault traveled the U.S. as a photographer before the war, and when hostilities erupted between the North and South, he set out for Bermuda to avoid the conflict. But he could not escape the far reaches of the Civil War—and a rare opportunity to capture Confederates with his camera.

Corporal Austin Captures a Flag by Ron Field (p. 51)
Albert Austin and his comrades in the 8th Connecticut Infantry had their baptism under fire at the Battle of New Bern, N.C., on March 14, 1862. On that day, Austin picked up a war trophy. Here, we bring together the relic and his portrait—and tell Austin’s story.

Nurse Pomroy: Comforter-in-Chief to the Lincoln Family by Chris Foard, MSN, RN (pp. 52-57)
Rebecca Pomroy came to Washington to take care of wounded and sick soldiers. Much to her surprise, she was called to care for the Lincoln family—a role that she enjoyed, but also one that challenged her because it kept her from the soldier boys she pledged to serve.

Filler Cartes de Visite: A fresh look at art, humor and satire by James S. Brust (pp. 58-65)
In recent times, cartes de visite of art, celebrities, scenes and other non-personal portraits tucked into albums have been labeled as “fillers.” The term implies that they were less desirable afterthoughts. The opposite is true. We tell you why.

Hard Drinking Colonels: A tableau of two commanders of the 69th Ohio Infantry by David B. Holcomb (pp. 66-67)
A tintype of four soldiers provides an entry point into the early and troubled history of the 69th Ohio Infantry, which involved two colonels with alcohol problems.

The Little Sack of Flour That Won the West by Jeremy Rowe (pp. 68-70)
What began as a bet on a mayoral race in a rough and tumble Nevada mining town ended with mock auctions across the West for a sack of flour that raised huge amounts of money to support Union troops. The man who led the philanthropic effort, merchant Reuel Colt “R.C.” Gridley, was an unlikely fundraiser.

The Entertainer: Long before Bob Hope entertained the troops, there was Barney Williams by Kraig McNutt (pp. 71-74)
The popular Irish singer and stage star, along with his wife, Maria, made a fortune and achieved celebrity status before the Civil War. After hostilities began, Barney brought much needed cheer to Union soldiers. President Abraham Lincoln was a fan—and John Wilkes Booth was not.

Stragglers: Distinctive Images from MI contributors (pp. 78-79)
Included is a portrait of the brothers Henry and William King, enlisted men in the 52nd Pennsylvania Infantry, a Union infantryman with an Austrian Lorenz rifle musket, and two casually-dressed federals pictured just days before their Suffolk, Va., garrison came under siege by Confederates.

The Last Shot (p. 80)Two cartes de visite from the Karl Sundstrom Collection picture Union officers, each with a pencil inscription that accuses one of gambling and the other of cowardice.

Gettysburg Gathering: Celebrating the Collecting Community

Collectors, dealers and other members of the Civil War collecting community third met for the Gettysburg Gathering on Friday night, June 28, 2019. The group met at historic Grand Army of the Republic Hall in downtown Gettysburg, Pa. The evening began with a buffet barbecue dinner catered by Biggerstaff’s and continued with welcome remarks by co-hosts Ron Coddington of Military Images magazine and Doug York of Civil War Faces and Civil War Faces Market Place. The two announced the formation of a new organization, the Civil War Photo Collectors Society. The main attraction of the night—four speakers who presented on a variety of Civil War photo-related topics.

Gary McQuarrie, Doug York, Rick Brown, Ron Coddington, Chuck Joyce and Dr. Kurt Luther.

The program:

Chuck Joyce.

The Sacrifice of Seven: Images and Stories of Union Casualties at Gettysburg
By Chuck Joyce, Senior Editor, Military Images
About a dozen years ago, I began to focus my collection on images and artifacts of men and boys who fell at Gettysburg—drawn, as countless others before me, to the special nature of this hallowed ground. In this talk, I share the stories of seven federal soldiers whose lives were lost or forever altered in the fighting that took place here, paying particular attention to  role that pension records and online sources, the network of fellow collectors, and just plain luck has played in helping to allow me to learn and tell the tale of their sacrifice.

Dr. Kurt Luther.

Civil War Photo Sleuthing: Past, Present, and Future
By Dr. Kurt Luther, Civil War Photo Sleuth
People have struggled to identify unknown soldiers and sailors in Civil War photos since even before the war ended. In this talk, I trace the 150-year history of photo sleuthing, showing how the passage of time has magnified some challenges, but also unlocked exciting new possibilities. I show how technologies like social media, face recognition, and digital archives allow us to solve photo mysteries that have eluded families and researchers for a century and a half.

Gary McQuarrie.

George Holmes Bixby, MD: Photographer on the Western Rivers
By Gary McQuarrie, Managing Editor, Civil War Navy—The Magazine 
Documentary evidence is reviewed that Dr. Bixby, the Chief Medical Officer on the USS Red Rover hospital ship, photographed many iconic gunboats and vessels of the Mississippi Squadron during his service in the theater and deserves to be recognized for his photographs and as one of a small group of physician photographers during the war.

Rick Brown.

Through a Collector’s Eye
By Rick Brown, Senior Editor, Military Images
I review a sampling of photographs from my collection with an eye to artistry, appreciation, and history. I also share stories about the community of collectors, and our role in preserving the wonderful images out there we’ve discovered and shared.

The Benefits of Advertising in MI, Explained in Our New Media Kit

Military Images has spent the last five years rethinking advertising. We’ve evolved from offering a single set of print magazine options to a new approach that embraces print, digital and social media.

The plan is simple: We offer advertisers access to our quarterly magazine in print and online, our web site, our Facebook page and Military Images Live, our streaming video program. You can pick and choose from four different packages, all reasonably priced. No matter which plan you choose, your company name will marketed to our engaged audience with an active interest in American Civil War photography and history. It includes an vibrant community of collectors and dealers in historic military photography and other artifacts, researchers and genealogists, re-enactors and living historians, authors and historians, museums, libraries, historical societies, and other public and private institutions. Included in this last group are more than 40 Civil War-related national historical sites and military parks and museums.

Get familiar with our Media Kit!

Finding Aid: Autumn 2018

The complete issue

Vol. XXXVI, No. 4
(80 pages)

No print issues in stock
Download PDF from JSTOR ($16.00)
Subscribe to MI ($24.95)
Explore the MI Archives: Browse | Advanced search | Tutorial


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.

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): 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:–artist-events.html