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Most of the photos on this site were extracted from reference images (high-resolution tiffs, 20 to 200 megabytes in size) from the Library of Congress research archive. (To query the database click here.) Many were digitized by LOC contractors using a Sinar studio back. They are adjusted by your webmaster for contrast and color in Photoshop before being downsized and turned into the jpegs you see here.

 
 
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VINTAGRAPH • WPA • WWII • UNFAIR TO BABIES, 1936

Petersburg: 1864

Petersburg: 1864

August 1864. "Petersburg, North Carolina. Group at headquarters of the Provost Marshal Department." View full size. Wet collodion glass-plate negative, LOC.

 

Petersburg

I'd say based on his expression, he can wear whatever the hell he wants on his feet, and there's not a damn thing you or anyone else can do about it.

They look like a group of badasses. Those faces have stories to tell.

Is this Petersburg, NC or VA?

I was born, raised, and lived most if my life in North Carolina, but I've never heard of a Petersburg. Does anyone know if it existed at the time or is this just mis-labeled? Petersburg, VA would make more sense.

[Petersburg, North Carolina according to the Library of Congress caption information. It's in Onslow County. - Dave]

that's Virgil Cain

he rode the Danville train, til Stoneman's calvary came and tore up the tracks again.

Stacy Keach?

That dude with the boots seated in the middle looks a little like Stacy Keach, doesn't he?

Not sure who they might be but here're some clues....

The Provost Marshall's position was the 19th-century army's equivalent of military police - though there were no units specifically recognized as such - regular units were detailed for "provost duty" from time to time.

The striking thing is that so few of them are in any semblance of a uniform. Most are in civilian dress. Several as well seem a bit old to have been soldiers by this point in the war. By 1864 most enlistees were in their 20's or younger. Also, few federal enlisted men of the era carried more than one change of clothes (usually just a shirt and pair of drawers). It doesn't seem likely they were soldiers.

It's possible they were sutlers, merchants authorized to follow troops and provide those items not usually available from the Quartermaster. They typically had to have permission of the CO through the office of the Provost Marshal.

Hats off

The man sitting third from the left has his hat cocked in the perfect definition of "jaunty."

I'd have loved to have been in any bar or saloon that they all would have gone to.

"How do I get to the Susquehanna Hat Company?"

A Drummer?

The guy in the lower right corner looks like Levon Helm.

Not a belt among them!

I wish I knew more about who these guys were. Were they ex soldiers? Soldiers on leave? Locals?
There's a note of some kind attached to the top of the door. It'd be nice to zoom in on it, to see if we can read it.

Petersburg: 1864

great to see pictures of 150 years old and above.

Union control of North Carolina..

Much of the eastern portion of North Carolina was under federal control by this time. Some ports had fallen as early as 1862 but there were holdouts. Wilmington was the last to fall in February of 1865.

Union?

What a great shot. Would North Carolina be under Union control by 1864?

Does anyone know the technical term for the concentric blur that grows at the edges of the picture? It's not a depth of field effect.

On the Porch Roof

There are two objects on the porch of the roof. One looks like a window frame, but the other? Anyone know what that is?

Worse still. . . .

Yanks.

HMM is them the

Hatfields or the McCoys?

Is the man on the far left

Is the man on the far left wearing slippers?

 
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