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French's Brigade: 1862

French's Brigade: 1862

1862. "Yorktown, Virginia. Headquarters of Sarg. Gabriel. Dr. Grant & Chaplain Jones H. Dwight of French's Brigade. 66th New York Infantry -- 'Governor's Guards'." Wet collodion glass plate negative. View full size.


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No country for old horses

The horse on the right has a very large bit which can exert tremendous pressure on the mouth and tongue of the animal . You can be sure it lived a short, violent , painful life . As of course did app 700,000 soldiers . Some 5 million horses and mules were killed in the war .

Generally untidy

For my time in the modern black-shoe army, just about the only guy who could get away with an encampment that sloppy would be the commanding general.

James not Jones

In checking the regiment roster I found the chaplain's first name is actually James Dwight. He enrolled at New York City in October of 1861 and was mustered in as chaplain a few days later and commissioned at the end of December. Dwight was discharged February 14th, 1863.

Military Fashionplate

The doctor seems to embrace the military fashions of the period. The leggings he is wearing are of a unique type, he's wearing a sash with the tassles, still wearing his gloves and spurs though obviously dismounted, his sword and what appears to be a patent leather sabretache are hanging on the left. His shoulder straps seem to indicate he ranks as a major. Is he untidy or is he waiting for someone else to clean the camp?

Individual Identities

The Captain on the left is most certainly the brigade Chaplain, Jones Dwight, Doctor (Major) Grant is seated on the right and the backwoods fella in the background, by process of elimination, must be Sergeant Gabriel. Notice he's doing the "enlisted stuff", such as tending the horses.

He's the director

Ever wonder about the origins of the iconic movie set director's chair? Guess we can now prove it's at least 151 years old. (Is the back embroidered with the production name -- "CIVIL WAR"?)

Century-old tent design

When I was in a Boy Scout in the late 60s (1960s), the tents we had at summer camp were almost identical to this one.

Background watcher

Very creepy. He looks like he's auditioning for the lead in a backwoods cannibal horror movie ...

Another Celebrity Vampire!

The guy on the left looks like Zach Galifianakis. No, wait, the guy on the right does. Wait . .

Since the original is a stereoview. . .

. . . we can have it it Red/Cyan

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