Finding Aid: Nov./Dec. 1981


The complete issue

Vol. 3, No. 3
(32 pages)

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Cover Image
A previously unpublished quarter-plate melainotype taken in 1866 of General Robert E. Lee astride his horse Traveller.

Editor’s Page (inside front cover)
The editor announces not only a change in address, but his marriage to Military Image attorney.

Mail Call (p. 2)
Letters from subscribers provide their comments about past issues and suggestions for those in the future. Of interest was a recently discovered photograph of “Stonewall” Jackson. The editor described how the identification of the casual soldier in a private’s coat was made.

Passing in Review (p. 3)
The feature begins with a review of Autographs of the Confederacy by Michael Reese II, which is based on the collection of autographs compiled by John F. Mayer, who was a clerk in the Confederate War Department. The beautifully bound book contains the signatures of many notable individuals, including all of the Confederate general officers, some of which are extremely rare. The second review is of The Image of War, 1861-1865, Volume 1: The Shadows of the Storm edited by William C. Davis. Containing over 650 images with context provided by noted specialists, this first of a projected six volumes was given high marks.

Memoirs of a Rebel, Part I: South Mountain and Sharpsburg by John Calvin Gorman (pp. 4-6)
Edited by his grandson, George Gorman, North Carolina journalist John C. Gorman wrote out his memoirs of his time as a captain in Company B, 2nd North Carolina Regiment. This first installment for Military Images describes the action at South Mountain and the battle fought at Sharpsburg, including a stirring description of what it was like to fight in the “Bloody Lane” where so many of both sides fell.

The Hanging by William Christen (pp. 7-8)
The author takes the reader on a sleuthing mission to discover the truth behind two postcard photographs found in his grandfather’s collection of World War I photographs. Taken on board the Indiana in 1918, the details of the story behind the gleeful seamen, a lack of officers, and a hanging victim are revealed.

U.S. Army Uniforms of the Civil War, Part III: The Artillery by Robert Borrell, Sr. (pp. 9-15)
A collection of 19 images accompanies this article which describes the uniform requirements of the Federal artillery as worn in the Civil War by both enlisted and officer ranks, and by light and heavy artillery. One trio of images shows the wear of frock and sack coats as well as the shell jacket, while another trio shows the wear of Hardee, kepi, and plug hats. An interesting feature of the pictorial is the close-up images of a gold bullion artillery insignia worn on the kepi of 2d Lt. Eben Hall of the 4th Connecticut Infantry as well as two different commercially purchased badges engraved with a soldier’s name.

The Few, the Forgotten: The Confederate States Marines by David L. Sullivan (pp. 16-21)
Difficult to research as the official records of the Confederate States Marine Corps were burned in Richmond at the end of the Civil War, the article traces the development and history of this little known group. With service as diverse at guarding shipping in dock at New Orleans to participating in on the Virginia as it fought at Hampton Roads to fighting at Saylor’s Creek, the four companies of the Confederate Marines were involved in conflict with the Federals consistently throughout the war. The article includes several images of notable Confederate Marines along with short biographies.

Harvard Crimson to Horizon Blue: The Odyssey of Parker Ellis by Dale Biever (pp. 22-23)
Many young American men, several from Ivy League schools, decided to fight in World War One long before the United States entered the conflict in 1917. One of these was Parker Ellis, who left Harvard in early 1917. Photographs that accompany the article show his transition from an ambulance driver for the American Field Service in France and Italy to his training with the French Foreign Legion. Eventually serving as a lieutenant with the 260th Artillery, he was awarded the Croix de Guerre for bravery for his actions in the field in October 1918, shown in a portrait taken in 1919. He was not yet 22 years of age.

“U.S. Official:” A look at the Signal Corps photos of the First World War by Philip Katcher (pp. 24-26)
Five large format images, each marked with a “U.S. Official” stamp, from the collection of the author show very different aspects of the conflict. From soldiers of the Signal Corps wearing special gas masks that allowed them to communicate normally to camouflaged snipers returning from the trenches to a group of Americans with a captured German Howitzer, these images provide detail that many other images of the time were unable to obtain. The collection also includes a group photograph of a mobile “Dental Car” sent from New York, with dentists ready to apply their skills. The final image of the pictorial is a unique view of troops of different nations from both sides of the conflict – German and Austrian, American and British – apparently celebrating the Armistice that called an end to the fighting of World War One.

Private Benjamin Franklin: Company H, 2d Minnesota Cavalry by William Gladstone (p. 27)
The article presents a fund-raising carte de visite featuring Private Franklin, the only soldier of the era to undergo and survive partial amputation of all four limbs. Caught in a snowstorm after escorting a wagon train as part of his Indian fighting duty, and without shelter or food for a week, Franklin was the only survivor from the detail. He was rescued by friendly Indians and brought to Fort Ridgley for treatment. While provided with a small government pension, Private Franklin sold copies of his carte de visite for a quarter as a way to earn extra income, a “not uncommon practice after the Civil War.”

Stragglers (pp. 28-31)
From Company H, 31st Michigan Infantry celebrating the birthday of General Robert E. Lee in Savannah in 1899 on their way to Cuba to some unique personal additions to regulation uniforms, this edition of “Stragglers” includes some unusual images. A previously unpublished image of Col. Frederick G. D’Utassy of the 39th New York “Garibaldi Guard,” an unofficial “foreign legion” fighting with the Union, is presented. Readers are also given a quiz to test their knowledge: How many of the four images of soldiers in grey are Yanks?

Back Image
The elaborate image of a sergeant in the 2nd Regiment, Wisconsin National Guard, Oshkosh from between 1878 and 1886 is featured.

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