Finding Aid: November/December 1986

The complete issue

Vol. VIII, No. 3
(32 pages)

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Cover image
An unidentified Union field-grade officer, wearing his corps badge hanging from a ribbon, which denotes him as a staff officer.

Editor’s Desk (p. 1)
In this issue, the editor explains that issues of Military Images beginning with the January-February 1986 issue will be included in the ABC-CLIO index and abstract service. Abstracts of articles will be published in Historical Abstracts as well.

Mail Call (p. 3)
The controversy regarding the photograph of the unidentified Confederate Marine is concluded with a letter from a motion picture special effects artist. He took the images and ran them through some detailed photographic tests and found that the image is indeed that of Lt. David Raney. Brian Pohanka also provides newly found evidence that expands on his biography of Miles Keogh from the previous issue of MI: a letter that proves the rumor that Keogh had a premonition about his death. Other letters include questions regarding Missouri militia battle shirts and a request for help finding information about a Texan in the 9th Texas Cavalry.

Passing in Review (p. 5)
Two items are included, beginning with the addition of five books written by Philip Katcher to the Man-at-Arms series by Osprey. His contributions include four books on the uniforms and equipment of the Civil War and one on the U.S. Cavalry on the Plains. The book WAR by Gwynne Dwyer is the second item reviewed. The volume, which covers the history of warfare from Armageddon in 1480 B.C. to the current era of nuclear warfare, also following his miniseries of the same name. A short note at the end of the feature lets readers know that Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn by Evan Connell has been released again in paperback with 24 photographs.

More Georgians in Gray: Brief Biographies of Confederate Soldiers, Part II by Keith Bohannon (pp. 6-13)
Fifteen different images, including some of siblings, illustrate the stories of these soldiers who fought for Georgia during the Civil War. The men came from a variety of backgrounds, from young farm boys to school teachers to the sons of the landed elite, and saw action from First Manassas to the horrific fighting at the Devil’s Den at Gettysburg to the surrender at Appomattox. A few died of disease, some in battle, and many resumed their lives as honored members of their communities after the war.

Massachusetts Mystery Medal by Howard Michael Madaus (pp. 14-15)
This article describes a very unique device worn by members of the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, apparently first in use during the summer of 1863. Seen on the uniforms of five members of the unit, the medal appears to be a complete minie ball attached to a ribbon with a dark diagonal stripe on a square ribbon, with a bar attachment to a second piece of the same ribbon which is attached to a metal shield. The author of the article requests any information from the readership that could provide more light on the meaning of this interesting mystery medal.

Corps Badges of the Civil War, Part III: XI through XXV Corps by Wendell W. Lang, Jr. (pp. 16-26)
The final fifteen remaining Federal corps badges are the topic of this article. The author reminds the readers that a few of the corps (XIII and XXI) never adopted a corps badge and that some of the new corps adopted an old badge (the XX took on the badge of the XII) and others adopted new badges. Some of the men would wear their old corps badge even when their corps was integrated into a new one, so identification can be confusing at times. It is suggested that care be taken by collectors to use a magnifying glass to get as much detail about a corps badge as possible in order to make correct identification; some manufacturers even would put symbols on metal discs, which can also lead to misidentifications. The images included with the article show the crescent of the XI Corps, the five-pointed star of the XII Corps, the acorn of the XIV, the cartridge box of the XV, the symbol of the XVI (a circle which is said to have four minie ball cuts to make a rough cross), the second badge (an arrow) of the XVII Corps, the “foliate” cross badge of the XVIII, the initial four-pointed star of the XIX Corps, the unofficial five-leafed cross of the XXII, the escutcheon of the XXIII Corps, the heart-shaped badge of the XXIV, and the square within a square of the XXV Corps.

The Tenth Legion by Robert W. Fulmer (p. 29)
The Civil War saw the attempt to raise “legion” sized combined arms units, with approximately 1000 men organized into eight infantry companies along with a company of cavalry and one of artillery batteries. The Confederate legions (Hampton’s and Cobb’s Legions) are generally well-known, but the Union also raised one as well. The Tenth Legion was raised from Orange and Sullivan counties in New York, and its members wore a large shield with an “X” emblazoned on it, not to be confused with the X Corps badge. The color of the shield designated the combat arm the soldier belonged to: sky blue for infantry, green for rifle companies, orange for cavalry, red for artillery. The end of 1861 saw the recognition that a legion was unwieldy for the kind of fighting that was underway, so the Tenth Legion was broken up and its component parts being redistributed.

Stragglers (p. 31)
Military Images published in July-August 1981 (Vol. III, No. 1) a photograph of what was said to be a relaxed “Stonewall” Jackson standing along a fence in camp. The original quarter-plate ambrotype, stolen from the estate of Louise Briscoe, caused a sensation, with many not believing that the scruffy man wearing no rank could be Jackson. MI asked the reader who made the definitive identification of Lt. Raney (see “Mail Call”) to do the same kind of photo identification of this image. Mr. Fleming compared the image to four known images of “Stonewall” and his verdict: the figure in question is most definitely Thomas J. Jackson.

Back Image
The back of the issue features a ninth-plate ambrotype of an unidentified antebellum militia infantryman in a uniform typical of militia from North Carolina and Virginia. The bugle insignia was used by militia to designate rifle companies.

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