Posts Tagged ‘military organization’

“The President’s authority to commission the officers of colored volunteer notwithstanding, state executives exerted considerable influence in the selection of officers of Negro regiments. Clamoring for the protection of states’ rights, the governors argued that native white men of their respective states should be appointed officers of the Negro troops they mobilized.”
John T. Blassingame. “The Selection of Officers and Non-Commissioned Officers of Negro Troops in the Union Troops, 1863-1865,” Negro History Bulletin,Vol. 30, No. 1 (January 1967), pp. 8-11.

This photograph of an unidentified cavalry officer is held in the collection of the Missouri Historical Society. The catalog record describes it as a “half-length portrait of a man in uniform with a sword. Subject’s hat has crossed sabers, indicating cavalry.”

See related posts:

1st U.S. Colored Cavalry in the 19th Century News” (December 23, 2019)
Black Troops, White Officers” (July 20, 2020)
Free Military School for Applicants for Commands of Colored Troops” (December 16, 2019)

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The Library of Congress catalog record for this 1863 pencil drawing by Edwin Forbes includes this note “”Sutler’s tent, near Stoneman’s Switch, Falmouth, Va.”

Here’s an excerpt from Claire Prechtel-Kluskens’s article “Sutlers of the Civil War,” NGS Magazine, April-June 2014, p. 39

“Civil War sutlers were the 19th century equivalent of the modoern US Army’s post exchaned (PX) or commissary. Soldiers in the field patronized these traeveling storekeepers to purchase needed goods and desired luxuries that were not provided by the US government.

“If your ancestor was a sutler, there are records and publications that may provide insight on his activities and store inventory. Even if your ancestor wasn’t a sutler, knowing more about his regimental sutler (or sutlers in general) will broaden your understanding of your Civil War soldiers’ experiences by learning about what items soldiers purchased to enhance their every day lives in the field.”

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“New rifle musket ball caliber 0.58-inch. This final version of the Minie bullet resulted from experiments conducted by James H. Burton at the Harpers Ferry Armory during the early 1850s.”
Year: 1855. Image Credit: Smithsonian Neg. No. 91-10712; Harpers Ferry NHP Cat. No. 13645.

The Minie ball, invented by French Army officer Claude-Etienne Minie, was modified by James H. Burton who began his career as a machinist at Harpers Ferry Armory. The bullets delivered devastating injuries. A Minie ball flattened on impact shattering bone which caused splinters and further muscle and tissue damage.

Civil War Tech: The Minie Ball (9:51) YouTube, January 24, 2016
This video clip includes animations of how the Minie ball functioned, battlefield re-enactments and comments from James Meigs, Editor-in-Chief, Popular Mechanics, Brian Williams, “NBC Nightly News,” and General Colin L. Powell.

Warning! This content is graphic and may be disturbing to some viewers.

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“Union cavalry and mounted artillery soldiers were issued greatcoats to be worn over their uniforms during the winter months.”

See the complete entry for “Union Mounted Greatcoat” at the Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, accessed May 3, 2021.

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The Soldier in Our Civil War includes hundreds of drawings that were published in Frank Leslie’s Weekly Magazine as single-page illustrations and double-page spreads. Images that appeared alongside “Govrnt Blacksmiths’ Shop” included “Building Roads,” “In the Trenches,” “Scouts,” “On Picket,” “Battle of Milliken’s Bend,” “Teamster of the Army, “Cooking in Camp,” “Unloading Govt. Stores,” “Driving Govt Cattle,” and “Washing in Camp.” Artists under contract to Frank Leslie’s (and other magazines of the period) drew African American troops at camp and in battle, male and female workers engaged in various occupations, life on the home front, country sides and cityscapes, maps, and military action on land and sea.

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