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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 • THE NEW ZEALAND FOREST, c. 1950

Supply Train: 1865

Supply Train: 1865

1865. City Point, Virginia. "General Patrick's headquarters and mail wharf." Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown. View full size.

 

The ships in the distance

One of the best things for me in these old photos is the view into the distance. Something very evocative about looking off into the faraway in both time and space.

Have to compare battlefields

I think contemporary battlefields are similar in appearance, but you are right that, especially in America, there isn't much thought to preventing erosion in 19th century photographs.

Landscaping

Landscaping was definitely not a priority back in those days. I have noticed that in many Civil war pictures the landscape is always completely destroyed and disfigured. Erosion was rampant. Really interesting how much better life is today in the old US of A and people are more dissatisfied than ever.

Corps Division Badge

Union Army, X Corps, 3rd Division Badge.

Color-coordinated mules

It's interesting to note that the mules hitched to each wagon are mostly the same color. White for wagon #4, black for #22, and gray or brown for the unnumbered open-top wagon.

Matched horses

Interesting that the horses are matched in color on wagon 4. At least in this b&w photo, it appears that two white horses are behind two dappled greys.

I don't know much about horse drawn wagons, but I would guess that the trainer selected the horses in matched pairs to be sold possibly to civilians, but they were instead sold to the Army. I assume the horses were trained to work with specific partners and thus they stayed together.

Cold, Dirty, Harsh, Unpleasant

I expect those two folks sheltering up under that ledge would like to be somewhere else.

Wagon Insignia

What is the emblem on the wagons?

Not one of the Army of the Potomac's corps badges (or any of the other armies, for that matter).

Thanks!

Yikes!

Proof there are ghosts, and this wharf is haunted! The ghosts show up as black blobs in this photo! Seriously, though, I loooooove your website! I really enjoy looking back in time this way.

Bennett Place

All of these end-of-the-war era photos from City Point dovetail nicely with the 144th anniversary of the end of the hostilities, which was observed last Sunday, April 26, at Bennett Place, a short distance west of the Bull City. Johnson surrendered his army to Sherman, in the last (and largest) major laying down of arms of the War Between the States.

Read more about it here:
http://www.nchistoricsites.org/bennett/main.htm
or here
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bennett_Place

What's in a name?

The numbers 4 and 22 Supply Train, Conestoga Wagons, could be called 4 Horsepower, 4 wheelers.

 
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