SHORPY Historic Photo Archive & Fine-Art Prints
The Shorpy Archive
6000+ fine-art prints suitable for framing. Desk-size to sofa-size and larger, on archival paper or canvas.
Join and Share

Social Shorpy

Syndicate content
Syndicate content
Syndicate content

Join our mailing list (enter email):

Member Photos

Photos submitted by Shorpy members.

Colorized Photos

Colorized photos submitted by members.

About the Photos

Our holdings include hundreds of glass and film negatives/transparencies that we've scanned ourselves; in addition, many other photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs) in the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) They are adjusted, restored and reworked by your webmaster in accordance with his aesthetic sensibilities before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here. All of these images (including "derivative works") are protected by copyright laws of the United States and other jurisdictions and may not be sold, reproduced or otherwise used for commercial purposes without permission.

© 2018 SHORPY INC.

[REV 25-NOV-2014]

JUMP TO PAGE   100  >  200  >  300  >  400  >  500  >  600

Commissary Clerks: 1863

Commissary Clerks: 1863

February 1863. "Aquia Creek Landing, Virginia. Group of Commissary clerks." Wet plate glass negative by Alexander Gardner. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5


Perhaps they look angular because they are thin. That is to say, perhaps I too would look similarly angular if I was not carrying around 40 unnecessary pounds. Also, it is always a bit surprising to me when I realize that often in these photos the subjects are younger than I think at first. Age also changes faces of course, especially with the forever growing nose and ear cartilage, in addition to the extra weight of age. Just a thought.


Actually, it's a Sibley tent. It was authentic issue for the period, and the idea did come from the Western Plains tepee.

There, There

The fellow in the center looks really down, but his buddy is consoling him.

Snappy crocheted tie

The second from the left wears a crocheted tie. I've seen patterns for these in the ladies' magazines of the period, but never one in actual usage. They're sort of ugly, really. But I'll bet he's wearing it because his sweetheart made it for him.


Were they regulation? I don't recall seeing tipis in Civil War photos.


Someone said, "You can tell a lot about a man by the shine of his shoes, " or something like that.

It is interesting to note

It has always amazed me how men of that era always seem to look so rough with sharp, angular features. Look at Lincoln, Custer and "Stonewall" Jackson to name a few. Have we changed so much in the interim?

Medical Breakthroughs

In this case, the cough drop. The presence of the third and fourth gentlemen, the brothers Smith, Trade and Mark.

Buster and friends

I find it somewhat sobering that these fellows, were they still around today, would be around about 180 years old.

I am astonished, too, that Buster Keaton in this picture looks just as old as he would more than fifty years hence when he starred in moving pictures ... someone may gainsay me, but I won't believe that the fellow second from left really isn't Buster.

All in all, "things" and "stuff" change rapidly, but people have looked the same for millennia. Thank Providence for some constancy!

A wonderful picture.

Blackwater circa 1863

Lack of uniforms leads me to believe these are civilian employees of the Union Supply Corps. Aquia Creek Landing was a major logistics depot on the Potomac from the summer of 1861 until the Union Army headed north towards what would be the Gettysburg campaign.

In February 1863, the Union Army had just suffered a bloody defeat at Fredericksburg and had entered winter encampment. In May, would follow the defeat at Chancellorsville. It was a difficult time for the boys in blue.

Nice boots

Come here often?

SHORPY HISTORICAL PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

Syndicate content RSS | Contact Us | Privacy Policy | Photo Use | © 2018 Shorpy Inc.