An enlisted man of the 5th New York Infantry (Duryée’s Zouaves) stands for his portrait photograph. There is no written information on the back of the mount. A contemporary observer suggested that this soldier may be William Henry Seward Sweet of the 146th New York Infantry. However, this man wears the uniform of the 5th and not the 146th, and so this identification is questionable.
This carte de visite by J.H. Larrabee of Kendallsville, Ind., pictures a federal infantryman with his canteen. Two uncommon notes about his uniform: His gloves is marked with his monogram A.S.H., and the hatband of his forage cap extends across the front edge of the flat part of the cap instead of wrapping around the base.
Written in pencil across the monogramed glove is an undecipherable word, perhaps his name.
Kendallsville was home to Camp Mitchell during the Civil War. Two Indiana regiments trained there, the 12th Cavalry and the 129th Infantry.
A carte de visite by an unidentified photographer of an unnamed Union cavalryman with one hand resting on the hilt of his saber, and another holding an 1860 Army Colt revolver. He stands in front of the Stars and Stripes, which has been tacked to a canvas backdrop that hangs over simple wood flooring. Penciled on one fold of the flag is a word, and it appears to be “Indiana.”
Philip Joseph Sanger, left, a second assistant engineer on the sloop-of-war Monongahela, was present at the Battle of Mobile Bay, Ala., on August 5, 1864. According to a note in his obituary, “He was thrown to the deck and covered with debris by a shell which demolished the bridge upon which he had been standing, but at once he resumed his post of duty and was applauded by [Rear Adm. David] Farragut for his conspicuous bravery.” He survived the war, became a physician in Philadelphia, Pa., and died in 1887.
A generation at war is touched in many ways, large and small, by the culture of the military. Here, an unidentified boy holds a toy sword in this Civil War era portrait. Why did he choose to pose with a sword? His father may have been a cavalryman, or perhaps he was inspired by romanticized engravings of combat he saw in Harper’s Weekly and other illustrated magazines. The photograph is from the studio of J.H. Abbott of Albany, N.Y.
Union navy Master’s Mate Ansel Allen Delano spent a portion of his Civil War experience aboard the gunboat Carrabasset in the West Gulf Coast Squadron. His story appears in the current print edition of the Civil War News, and is now available on Faces of War. An excerpt:
The Carrabasset arrived within a mile of Bayou Teche later that night. The infantrymen disembarked and marched through the darkness with Williams as a guide. They soon arrived at the Williams homestead. According to an official report filed by Simon Jones, the colonel and commander of the Ninety-third, “The family of Mr. Williams, for peculiar and domestic reasons, could not be induced to come with him.”
Colonel Jones noted, “While at Bayou Teche, a party of from twenty-five to thirty of the enemy rode down to the bayou on its southern bank, and dismounting, fired a number of shots at my detachment.”
Jones’s men fired back and drove the enemy away. Then they reconnoitered the area in search of more enemy forces. Back on the Carrabasset, it may have been these same rebels that attacked the ship and crew. Lt. Leonard acted quickly after fire from his guns scattered the enemy. Then he ordered a detachment of sailors in pursuit. Delano may have been placed in charge of the landing party, as it was common practice for the master’s mate to perform this duty.
Connecticut-born trader George Work posed for his portrait in the New York City studio of photographer George Work in February 1864, shortly after receiving a commission as an acting assistant paymaster in the U.S. navy. Before the end of the month he was assigned to the monitor-class ironclad Tecumseh. Six months later during the Battle of Mobile Bay, the Tecumseh struck an underwater mine (known as a torpedo) at the very onset of the fighting on Aug. 5, 1864. According to eyewitness accounts, the vessel sunk in less than 30 seconds. Almost the entire crew went down with the ship, including Work. His body was never recovered.
A carte de visite by an anonymous photographer pictures a man who sits on the floor and demonstrates a machine that features hand-operated pedals that turn a gear. Footrests extend from a cast iron base, and a harness of sorts is attached to curved metal strips to which the footrests are attached. The purpose of this device is not known.
These words are pencilled on the back of an original wartime photograph of Acting Masters Mate William H. Mott, who served in the Union navy from 1862-1866. He served on the North Carolina and the Saranac. The latter ship was assigned to protect U.S. interests along the California coast.