Injured in the First Charge at Vicksburg

John Caskey Hall (1842-1907) served in the 16th Ohio Infantry from 1861 to 1864, during which time he worked his way from a private to sergeant in Company C. He fought in the June 3, 1861, Battle of Philippi, W.Va., considered by some as the first land battle of the Civil War.

Hall went on to participate in the Vicksburg Campaign. He suffered a concussion in the May 19, 1863, assault on the formidable defenses of Vicksburg—the first of two failed attacks by the Union army that prompted Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant to ay siege to the fortress city.

Hall also served in the 102nd Ohio Infantry.

After the war he returned to his home in Wooster, Ohio, where he operated a coal business. He wed in 1874 and started a family that grew to include a daughter and two sons. His wife died in 1897, and he remarried.

This image by Reeve & Watts of Columbus, Ohio, is new to my collection and is available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr.
Injured in the First Charge at Vicksburg

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‘Very Poor Picture’

A Union cavalry sergeant stands at attention with his hands resting on the hilt of his saber. The only clue to his identity is written on the back of the carte de visite: “C.B. Harris Segt very Poor Picture C.B.H.”

This image is new to my collection, and available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr.
‘Very Poor Picture’

J. Worthley, July 21, 1863

This name and date appears on the back of the mount of this carte de visite. Other clues to this soldier’s identity can be found on his forage cap: The horn indicates his service in the infantry, and the brass characters “E” and “44” his membership in Company E of the Forty-fourth infantry. He wears the uniform of Union enlisted man.

Military service records list only one man whose name, rank and organization match the above information: James C. Worthley, who served as a private in Company E of the Forty-fourth Massachusetts Infantry.

Worthley left the regiment in June 1863 after his nine-month term of enlistment ended. The date on this image suggests that this may have been the last (and possibly only) time he posed in the uniform of the Forty-fourth. The regiment had spent the bulk of its time in North Carolina.

Worthley rejoined the army in the fall of 1863 as a sergeant in the Third Massachusetts Heavy Artillery, and served the remainder of the war in the defenses of Washington, D.C. A shoemaker in Boston prior to his military service, New Hampshire-born Worthley moved to Wisconsin at some point after the war. He died in Milwaukee in 1918.

This image is new to my collection, and available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr:
J. Worthley, July 21, 1863

A Pennsylvanian Who Stood Up to Lee in 1863

Samuel A. McCulley (also spelled McCauley) numbered among the thousands of Pennsylvanians who rallied to defend the homeland after Gen. Robert E. Lee and his Army of Northern Virginia invaded in June 1863. McCulley served a 60-day term of enlistment as a sergeant with Company A of the Fifty-first Pennsylvania Militia Infantry. The regiment was organized at Philadelphia on July 3, 1863—the last day of the Battle of Gettysburg. It mustered out on September 2, 1863.

This carte de visite is new to my collection. The condition and content is excellent. Clearly visible is the infantry horn insignia pinned to his hat, and the bright brass “A” in the middle. The tip of the plume attached to his hat can just be seen. The edge of his jacket where the buttons attached seems to be double-stitched, perhaps to insure that it holds up under the rigors of campaign.

This image is now available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr:
A Sergeant in the Pennsylvania Militia Infantry

A Pair of Federal Sergeants

New to the collection is this carte de visite of two Union comrades flanking a column. Both men wear the chevrons of a sergeant on their uniform; the soldier on the right has a diamond at the inner angle of the chevron, which indicates that he is a first sergeant. Selected by the company captain, a first sergeant was the ranking non-commissioned officer in a Civil War company. It is his job to receive orders from the captain and be sure they are carried out.

This image is now available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr:
A Pair of Federal Sergeants

New to My Collection: A Union Sergeant Stands Front and Off Center

My latest acquisition is this quarter plate tintype of a bearded federal sergeant. He wears a four button campaign jacket over a dark shirt with no collar and knee-high boots as he stands in front of an elaborate backdrop.  Holding a forage cap in his left hand, he grasps the edge of his jacket with the other. He stands off center in the frame of this image, leaving the viewer with the impression that it may have been intentional. The empty space to his left may represent a missed loved one or friend, or a fallen comrade. The space may also have been the work of the photographer, who may have artfully posed the sergeant between the tents and foliage pictured in the backdrop. Or perhaps this soldier first posed with another individual before having this image made of only himself, and the photographer failed to adjust the camera or the soldier.

This portrait is now available on PinterestTumblr, and Flickr:
A Union Sergeant Stands Front and Off Center