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Camp Casual: 1863

Camp Casual: 1863

June 1863. "Fairfax Courthouse, Virginia. Capt. J.B. Howard, Office of Assistant Quartermaster, Army of the Potomac." A colorful crew, even in monochrome. Wet plate glass negative by Timothy O'Sullivan. View full size.


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Impromptu style

I am guessing no one posed these handsome fellas and yet each of them has both a very individual stance and a different spot they're gazing at which makes for quite a unique picture (and if they were "posed", kudos to their photographer for such an interesting shot!)

Dress, undress and an educated guess

Among the duties of Union Quartermaster's Department was the transportation of material and food stuffs for the army. Like many armies of the 19th century, they employed civilian teamsters to handle the wagons.

Of the twelve men in the image, only four are clearly military and of those, only one is clearly an officer. The man standing to the left of the tent pole is a 2nd lieutenant judging by the absence of other insignia on his shoulder straps. The fellow in the "french girl" pose is a bit more problematic. He wears a shell jacket which was seen in the field on both officers and enlisted men. The gentleman doesnt look quite as field worn as the others. We can't see what's on his shoulder straps but based on his natty appearance (bowtie and pleated shirt), I'd hazard a guess that he's the Capt. Howard in the caption.

[The top dog in these camp scenes was almost always the one in the odalisque pose. -Dave]

Civil War chapeaux

What an incredible assortment of hats! Practically no two alike. Top prize to the man in the middle leaning on the signpost.

Lounging in Style

Buffalo rug?

Early On

It looks like the issuing of uniforms hasn't taken place quite yet. A tad informal.

Thought balloon

Guy, second left: "Draw me like one of your French girls."

"Say Cheese!"

Apparently this photo pre-dates that attention grabbing phrase.

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