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Military Images

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:
http://www.gettysburgpublishing.com/upcoming-events.html
https://www.facebook.com/Gettysburgpublishing/
https://www.gettysburgmuseum.com/author–artist-events.html

Civil War Generals: The Poster

Oldfield Company presents a new poster featuring six Union and six Confederate generals with quotes that reveal their moving perspectives of the Civil War. This dynamic arrangement of images and quotations chillingly clarifies the realities of the great conflict. The quintessential quotation from each general includes their likeness and their years of birth and death.

Fittingly, the frames surrounding each subject are blue or gray, depending on their affiliation. 

The 24” x 36” dimension fits a standard frame size for economical framing.

Display this handsome print of military leaders of the Civil War on your home, office or classroom wall.

Posters are $25 each, plus $5 shipping and handling. For full purchase information, visit oldfieldcompany.com.

Here’s a look at each general and his quote.

 

Finding Aid: Spring 2018

The complete issue

Vol. XXXVI, No. 2
(80 pages)

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Inside

Cover image
A sixth-plate daguerreotype from the Mike Medhurst Collection pictures Philip St. George Cooke, U.S. army, circa 1857.
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Table of Contents (p. 1)
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Editor’s Desk (p. 2)
In “On Vignettes,” the editor discusses the importance of the human element and emphasizes the rich history of soldier stories that dates to the founding of the magazine.
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Mail Call (pp. 3-4)
Feedback includes praise for the last issue, the paper crisis in the Confederacy, photos of Gen. Samuel Cooper and the fate of Stonewall Jackson’s funeral boat.
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Military Anthropologist (p. 4)
Data tracking the percent of U.S. Colored Troops as part of the Union army from September 1862 until April 1865 are visualized with a bar chart.

Passing in Review (p. 6)
Howard Wert’s Gettysburg: A Collection of Relics from the Civil War Battle (Schiffer Publishing) by Bruce E. Mowday and G. Craig Caba explores the artifacts held by a family of pioneer collectors.
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Antebellum Warriors (p. 8)
A half-plate daguerreotype by John Plumbe Jr. from the National Portrait Gallery Collection pictures Col. James Duncan Graham, an 1817 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy who had a stellar military career as a surveyor of borders.

Most Hallowed Ground (p. 10)
Sanford D. Bradbury started his military service with the 27th New York Cavalry and fought at the First Battle of Run. He survived his war experience and remained in the army, fighting Native American warriors in the West. He received the Medal of Honor for his courage in an 1860 skirmish against Apache warriors at Hell Canyon, Ariz.

Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther (pp. 12-13)
In “Reverse Engineering an Image Macro,” Kurt explains how he solved an internet mystery involving a Civil War photo meme and another mystery from Civil War history.

The Honored Few (p. 14)
Horatio Collins King, a well-connected young New York attorney, served most of the Civil War behind the scenes as a quartermaster. During the closing days of the war, near Five Forks, Va., he volunteered to be an aide to Gen. Thomas Devin and helped drive back advancing Confederates. For this he received the Medal of Honor in 1897.

The Borderer: The antebellum origins of the Father of the American Cavalry by Mike Medhurst (pp. 16-20)
Though Philip St. George Cooke’s Civil War career was marred by his less than stellar performance during the 1862 Peninsula Campaign, his pre-war career was celebrated. His service in the West, his many experiences in uniform and his authorship of a popular cavalry manual made him an early American military icon.

Maelstrom in The Wilderness: The deadliest day in Vermont history by John Gibson (pp. 23-33)
Without question, Union losses during the Battle of the Wilderness in the spring of 1864 were on a massive scale. The volunteers of Vermont suffered heavy casualties as the Army of the Potomac ground its way towards eventual victory over the Army of Northern Virginia. Here, we look at Vermont’s story through the portraits and stories of those who became casualties in the brutal fight.

Carbines, Colts & Confederates (pp. 34-43)
Charles Darden started collecting carbines almost a half-century ago, but all that changed in 2009 when he purchased a photograph of a Missouri cavalryman. Since then, Civil War images have become an important part of his identity as a collector. Representative images from his collection are published here.

Philanthropic Photos: Fundraising during and after the Civil War by Richard Leisenring, Jr. (pp. 44-56)
The Civil War was a time of many firsts, and one of them is the explosion in sales of photographs for charitable purposes. From massive fairs in major cities to raise money for the leading philanthropic organization of the day to individual soldiers maimed by amputation and unable to work, we take a look at different uses.

The Norman Brothers Meet Up in New Orleans: Photo sleuthing a Civil War journey by Ron Field (pp. 58-60)
A carte de visite of the Norman brothers, William and John, taken while they were in New Orleans is a window into the lives of two young men who took very different paths to preserve the Union.

Ogle’s Ruination: How alcohol ended a West Pointer’s promising military career by William Gorenfeld  (pp. 62-65)
Alcohol ended many a promising soldier’s career. Such was the case for Charles Henry Ogle, a West Pointer who started his military service as a dragoon in antebellum times and ended it in a room in Harrisburg, Pa., in 1863.

Forrest Family Faces: Rare images from the collections of Matt Hagans and Steve and Mike Romano (pp. 66-69)
Images of the wily Confederate cavalry mastermind and some of his family are published here, many for the first time.

Elmer Ellsworth, Haute Couturier? A previously unknown portrait of the Union martyr offers insight into his design method by Ronald S. Coddington with Michael J. McAfee and Ron Field (pp. 70-71)
A previously unknown antebellum portrait of Elmer E. Ellsworth dressed in an elaborate uniform is at the heart of a theory about his design methods. The visionary brainchild behind the U.S. Zouave Cadets had a passion for uniforms and was influenced by European styles.

The Past is Made Present: A reflection on photography by Naomi Subotnick with images from the Liljenquist Family Collection at the Library of Congress (pp. 72-73)
In this essay, Naomi shares her impressions after spending a summer internship working with photos of men who served in the War of 1812, Civil War and World War I.

Uniforms & History by Michael J. McAfee (pp. 74-75)
In “The Battle Against Uniform Uniforms” McAfee explores the disparate uniforms of the 10th New York State Militia, also known as the 177th New York Infantry. The story is illustrated with images from the author’s collection that picture the variety of styles.

Stragglers: Distinctive Images from MI contributors (pp. 76-77)
“Confederate Men of War” features five images of unidentified soldiers.

Sutler’s Row (p. 79)

The Last Shot (p. 80)
A quarter-plate tintype from the Art O’Leary Collection is a portrait of Stephen W. Thompson of the 5th Michigan Cavalry, who sits with a loaf of bread. He sticks a knife into one end of it.

Ball’s Bluff is Nominee for 2017 AHF Award

More than two years ago, when Ken Fleming first approached Military Images about telling the story of the Battle of Ball’s Bluff through the portraits and stories of those who were there, we knew it was a unique way to explore this unusual engagement.

Turns out we were not alone! The fine folks at the Army Historical Foundation (AHF) notified us today that our story, “Exhilaration and Anguish at Ball’s Bluff,” is a finalist in their annual Distinguished Writing Awards competition.

The AHF was “established in 1983 as a member-based, charitable 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. We seek to educate future Americans to fully appreciate the sacrifices that generations of American Soldiers have made to safeguard the freedoms of this nation. Our funding helps to refurbish historical Army buildings, acquire and conserve Army historical art and artifacts, support Army history educational programs, research, and publication of historical materials on the American Soldier, and provide support and counsel to private and governmental organizations committed to the same goals.”

Military Images is honored to be a finalist. Congratulations to Ken Fleming for his vision and Jim Morgan for writing the main story.

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Franklin Civil War Show: Champ Ferguson’s Last Days

It seems somehow appropriate that while at the Franklin Civil War Show we should scan this carte de visite of Tennessee’s Samuel “Champ” Ferguson. In August 1865, he posed for this portrait with his guards from the 9th Michigan Cavalry in Nashville for photographer C.C. Hughes. Ferguson, a Confederate guerrilla leader in Tennessee, is the tall man in the middle. A military tribunal convicted him on 53 counts of murder, and he was hanged in October 1865.

Ferguson was one of many Southerners who stood before military tribunals. The best known is Henry Wirz of Andersonville notoriety. For more information, read this article: https://www.nps.gov/ande/learn/historyculture/wirztribunal.htm

The show was great for Military Images: Hanging our with old friends, making news ones, scanning some incredible images and setting a one-day record for subscriptions. From the team at MI, a big thanks to all!

Magazine on a Mission

You may have noticed content from our magazine in other Civil War publications. For example, The Civil War Monitor publishes an occasional series, Faces of War, based on images that have appeared in MI. The magazine of the Civil War Trust, Hallowed Ground, also includes an MI feature.

What is the sharing is all about? Aside from the obvious promotional efforts, there is a more substantial reason that is at the heart and soul of our magazine.

The reason is our mission—to showcase, interpret and preserve Civil War portrait photography. These unusual images are a relatively new to our eyes. For a century after the end of the war, the vast majority were hidden away in albums in attics and basements. A small number were published by veterans during their lifetimes in books and magazines—but they were relatively few compared to the overall number in existence.

Beginning the late 1950s and the 1960s, following Bruce Catton’s popular histories of the war, the centennial and the passing of the last living veterans, these singular portraits began to show up at flea markets, antique shops and other sales.

Today, they are highly collectible. And we’ve made it our mission to document as many as possible. We’ve been at this since 1979.

So, the next time you see a portrait of a Union or Confederate soldiers, remember them and their service. And also think about what MI is doing to keep their faces and stories alive.

Thank you!

Ushering in a New Era of Soldier Identification

The face recognition technology used in CWPS displays unique reference points used for comparison to other images. Betaface.com.

Back in February at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, I glimpsed the future of soldier photo identification. In the conference room of a building on campus, professor Kurt Luther brought our team up to date on CivilWarPhotoSleuth.com (CWPS).

In this moment, I realized that the time-honored process of soldier identification evidenced on the pages of this magazine since it’s founding had met the Digital Age.

Kurt is the founder of CWPS, and Military Images is a proud partner.

I came to know Kurt three years ago at the 2014 Gettysburg Show, where we had a great conversation amidst the hustle and bustle of activity. We shared our enthusiasm for Civil War portrait photography, and I came away deeply impressed by his grit and determination to identify unknown soldiers and sailors. And, Kurt was friendly and engaging to boot.

Our conversation paved the way for Photo Sleuth, Kurt’s regular column in MI. Since its debut in the Winter 2015 issue, Photo Sleuth has explored concepts, methods and tools through case studies and other means. The columns have provided a tremendous boost to photo sleuths of all stripes, and I’ve found them incredibly helpful in my own research.

Kurt’s work builds on the traditional approaches and processes familiar to anyone who has attempted to put a name to the face of an unknown Civil War soldier: Basic observations of uniforms, equipment and back drops, provenance and painstaking research using primary documents, journals, books, databases and other sources. I am reminded of many hours spent flipping through pages of regimental histories, searching faces on the American Civil War Research Database (HDS), and reaching out to fellow collectors through email and on Facebook—all in anticipation of that Zen moment when a rock-solid identification is made.

CivilWarPhotoSleuth.com is the next advancement in the identification process. CWPS brings together photo archives, research tools and online community to increase identifications and support new scholarship related to Civil War portrait photography.

Turn to Kurt’s column on page 18 for details about this exciting new tool. And if you are planning to visit this year’s Gettysburg Show from June 24-25, join Kurt and I at the MI table for a live demo. Oh, and bring an unidentified photo with you!

Together, I hope we can put even more names to faces of the unknowns in blue and gray.

MI on Medium

mi-mediumVisit Military Images on Medium and read the first two installments of Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther:

Medium is, according to its founders, “A beautiful space for reading and writing — and little else. The words are central. They can be accompanied by images to help illustrate your point. But there are no gratuitous sidebars, plug-ins, or widgets.”

MI is utilizing Medium’s space for words—and images! Check it out: https://medium.com/military-images