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“Lost an Arm in Freedom’s Fray”

About 25,000 Union soldiers suffered amputations during the Civil War. These limbless men re-entered society, some faring well and others not. Here, we examine seven men who lost an arm as a result of the Battle of Gettysburg. Among them is artilleryman John F. Chase, who barely escaped when a canister charge exploded prematurely. Surgeons counted 48 shrapnel wounds on his body.

Story by Charles T. Joyce

This story is part of our Summer 2021 issue. Check out the full contents and learn how to purchase a copy or subscribe in our finding aid.

Finding Aid: Summer 2021

A complete table of contents for the Summer 2021 issue of Military Images magazine, and information about how to purchase single issues and subscriptions.

Vol. XXXIX, No. 3
(80 pages)

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Cover image
A sixth-plate tintype from the Brian Boeve Collection pictures a musician with his bugle.

Table of Contents (p. 1)

Editor’s Desk (p. 2)
In “Musings on Showcasing,” the editor discusses the first word in the publication’s motto: Showcase. Interpret. Preserve.

Mail Call (pp. 3-4)
Feedback includes praise for RickWolfe’s profile of Everton and Seymour Conger, Jeremy Rowe’s story about “The Little Sack of Flower That Won the West,” Elizabeth Topping’s exploration of color in Civil War era photography, and more.

Military Anthropologist (p. 4)
A survey of newspapers from May through November 1863 reveals how many times the press referenced the Siege of Vicksburg and the Battle of Gettysburg.

Passing in Review (p. 6)
The three-volume Black Lives in Focus series by Ross J. Kelbaugh is reviewed: Part I: Colonial-Antebellum America, Part II: The Civil War & Reconstruction, and Part III: Jim Crow to Barack Obama.

Photo Sleuth by Kurt Luther (pp. 8-10)
In “Hampton’s Battery at Gettysburg and Puerto Rico,” Luther traces the backstory behind a post-war reunion photo taken at Gettysburg by W.H. Tipton. The image is unique due to the presence of Civil War veterans and National Guardsmen—all connected to Pittsburgh, Pa.

Antebellum Warriors (p. 12)
A quarter-plate ambrotype features a militia corporal with an artillery sword. The style of his uniforms asks more questions than it answers.

The Honored Few (p. 14)
Sgt. Maj. Herbert Elon Farnsworth of the 10th New York Cavalry received the Medal of Honor for volunteering to cross dangerous ground to stop a Union artillery battery from firing on its own troops—a case of friendly fire.

Most Hallowed Ground by Perry M. Frohne (p. 16)
Long before Capt. Emmet Crawford of the 3rd U.S. Cavalry was murdered while he chased Apache Chief Geronimo in Mexico, he served in the Civil War with the 71st Pennsylvania Infantry. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.

The Citizenry (p. 18)
In “Author of a Southern Anthem,” we meet James Ryder Randall of Baltimore, Md. In April 1861, he penned the poem “Maryland, My Maryland” after learning of the failure of pro-secession rioters to stop the 6th Massachusetts Infantry as it marched through his hometown. The poem was soon set to music and became a popular tune with Confederate soldiers and Southern citizens. It was the Maryland state song from 1939-2021.

Buglers (pp. 21-32)
A gallery of 31 images collected in collaboration with Editor Dale Niesen of the Facebook group “The Image Collector” and contributions by collectors, reviewed by Contributing Editor Chris Nelson, is focused on soldiers pictured with bugles and trumpets. All are Union musicians.

MMB: A concise history of the unconventional, untethered and unruly warriors of the Mississippi Marine Brigade by Paul Russinoff (pp. 34-42)
One of the Civil War’s most novel fighting forces, the Mississippi Marine Brigade, began its life as a fleet of rams, the brainchild of civil engineer Charles Ellet, Jr. After his death from an infected wound, command passed to his brother, Alfred, who built the MMB. This is its story.

The Compact: In 1864, a group of soldiers at an army hospital pondered their futures. They pledged to meet 20 years later to find out. By Ronald S. Coddington (pp. 44-54)
At the U.S.A. General Hospital in York, Pa., a dozen soldiers, including three hospital stewards, planned a reunion at Niagara Falls in 1884 to find out where life took them after the war ended. What happened to them, and the fate of the reunion, is revealed in this account.

“Lost an Arm in Freedom’s Fray” by Charles T. Joyce (pp. 55-62)
About 25,000 Union soldiers suffered amputations during the Civil War. These limbless men re-entered society, some faring well and others not. Here, we examine seven men who lost an arm as a result of the Battle of Gettysburg. Among them is artilleryman John F. Chase, who barely escaped when a canister charge exploded prematurely. Surgeons counted 48 shrapnel wounds on his body.

On the Art, Science and technology Behind the Modern Coloring of Images, a Q&A with Matt Loughrey of My Colorful Past (pp. 63-65)
“Coloring imagery is as old as photography itself,” notes Matt Loughrey, owner of My Colorful Past, a company that colorizes and adds motion to historic images. In this interview, he describes his process and how his work is rooted in research and history.

Marcus Aurelius Root Wrote a Photographer’s Handbook in 1864. It Includes 6 Tips That Can Help You Better Appreciate 19th Century Portraits. By Ronald S. Coddington (pp. 66-67)
Pioneer daguerreotypist Marcus A. Root believed photography was an art form, not purely a mechanical process. His handbook, The Camera, and the Pencil, makes the point in several ways, including these tips.

Participants in an Early Commemoration at Gettysburg’s National Cemetery? By Elizabeth A. Topping (pp. 68-70)
A carte de visite of a Union officer wearing a sash and two ladies dressed in Goddess of Liberty costumes taken by Gettysburg, Pa., photographer Levi H. Mumper is a clue to a little remembered event that took place on July 4, 1865.

The USCC at Camp Letterman by Elizabeth A. Topping (pp. 72-74)
A group of soldiers, men and women gathered at the United States Christian Commission station in Gettysburg, Pa., reveals details not previously explored. The station operated from July to November 1863.

Material Culture by Frank Graves (pp. 75)
In “Colt Model 1860 Army Revolver, early Fluted Cylinder,” Graves shares a tintype of a soldier holding the revolver, and provides details about its fluted cylinder, comparing it to the more popular rebated cylinder.

Behind the Backdrop: Origins, artistry and photographers by Adam Ochs Fleischer (pp. 76-77)
In “A Backdrop Connected to Portraits of Quantrill’s Men,” Fleischer examines the distinctive painted canvas with a vessel and ruins visible in two photographs by Thomas D. Saunders of Lexington, Mo. This background matches other images of men who served with William Quantrill’s raiders.

Stragglers: Distinctive Images from MI contributors (pp. 78-79)
Included are portraits of Brig. Gen. Alfred Jefferson Vaughan, Jr., who started the war as a captain in the 13th Tennessee Infantry and went on to suffer the loss of a leg during the Atlanta Campaign, and William G. Edwards of the 14th Mississippi Infantry, who suffered the amputation of an arm after at Spring Hill, Tenn., an action leading up to the Battle of Franklin.

The Last Shot (p. 80)
A quarter-plate ruby ambrotype pictures Pvt. James Lawrence Secrest of Mississippi’s Jeff Davis Legion of Cavalry. Secrest is seated on his horse, Sela.

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.

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