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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.

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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Planter: 1865

Planter: 1865

Circa 1865. "City Point, Virginia (vicinity). Medical supply boat Planter at General Hospital wharf on the Appomattox." Wet plate glass negative. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Steamboat Planter

Sternquarter view of Medical Supply Steamboat Planter at General Hospital Wharf on the Appomattox River, City Point, Virginia, circa 1865, from Library of Congress. Here's a link to the story of how the Planter under the control of the Confederates was taken over by slave crewmembers and who escaped and turned her over to the Federal forces in Charleston Harbor, NC:

Interesting pic ... could

could those be coffins piled on the supply boat?

They seem to have the wrong dimensions for coffins. - Ken


I agree. This is a wonderful photo -- full of detail. I particularly like the wagon and horse in the far left center and the man sitting behind the little white house (captain's quarters?) on the boat. He appears to be looking out at the schooner. My question is - why isn't he fishing? The river looks like it would be teeming with fish.


Nice little history of the sidewheeler "Planter" here.


What a detail-rich photograph! Note the wash hung to dry just aft of the Planter's wheelhouse. And there appears to be something (dredging equipment?) moored to starboard beyond the Planter.

Schooner etc

Lots of neat details in this picture. Planter is tied up to a piling with a stern and spring line, but the "dock" seems to be composed entirely of moored boats, suggesting its temporary nature. Alongside look like canal barges due to their straight sides and very bluff bows, apparently designed to a beam limit. In this period, barges could also be towed by a steam tug, but these may have been towed by mules.

The schooner, because of the short hoist and long gaffs of its lower sails and the very long bowsprit with so many headsails, looks like an "import" from Maine, or elsewhere in New England. The Chesapeake Bay "pungy schooners" of this period had taller sails, fewer headsails, and more of a graceful sheer but with less steeve to the bowsprit, while this ship has the sturdy lines common in more exposed waters.

I wonder if there is any way to find out the name of this schooner? Probably not without the exact date.

Civil War Era Boats

This is the best photo I've seen here in weeks. There's nothing better than boating images from this period. Love it!


Kedging -- using the anchor and the windlass to move a ship back and forth -- was also an option in shallow water.

I lust

The paddlewheel is nice but I'm going on that schooner. Bon voyage! Can you imagine trying to maneuver a vessel of that size in a narrow channel with no engine and, therefore, no means for backing up? Guess that's when the rowboats come out to push/pull.

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.

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