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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • CARNAVAL EN LA HABANA, 1941

Aiken's Landing: 1864

Aiken's Landing: 1864

November 1864. Aiken's Landing, Virginia. "Army of the James. Convalescent colored troops at Aiken's Landing. A.M. Aiken's house at right." View full size.

 

Southern sympathizer

William Frassanito's books are a goldmine of information. A.M. Aiken had pledged not to aid the Confederates but on July 5, 1864 a Union detachment found he had been supplying hay and grain to the Confederates and also assisted 5 soldiers to escape capture. He was arrested and described as a "great rascal". These soldiers were part of General Butlers army. He was a great champion of African American soldiers.

Inspiring

I have to comment on this picture. I have seen few images here at Shorpy.com that were so inspiring to me as this one. The image of African American men who have been wounded in battle fighting for their freedom moves me deeply.

A better view

Here's a better view from Bing Maps.

Birdhouse, Army-style?

Bird HOUSE? Bird BARRACKS is more like it.

Martin House

That is certainly a purple martin house. According to this page:

http://purplemartin.org/main/history.html

Purple martins are domesticated, in the sense that they require human-built nests. This happened before the Europeans arrived, when the native Americans put up collections of gourds for them to inhabit. Apparently the communal bird house of the type pictured here has been around for quite a while.

Signal Corps

A fine example of Army Signal Corp barracks for pigeon-toed recruits.

This is for the birds

And to the left of Aiken's house is a condo for 72 homing pigeons, or what?

Aviary

What a grand birdhouse!

Varina, VA

The house is still apparently standing in Varina, a little southeast of Richmond.

Chez Martin

If I saw that birdhouse today, I would assume it was for purple martins. Were they popular back then? Were they trying to keep down the insect population?

 
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Shorpy.com | History in HD is a vintage photo blog featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1950s. The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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