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Prospect Hill photo questions

Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Mike Serpa, Jan 3, 2017.

  1. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    Prospect Hill, VA. Headquarters of 13th New York Cavalry. July 1865. LOC # 04167
    04167u.png

    1) Is this a Sibley tent?
    2) Is this a chair?
    3) Is this a tarp covering a hole in the roof? (It looks like a horizontal piece of wood is just below the red number.)
    4) An arm band?
    5) What type of saddle is this? Was it common?

    Thanks.
     

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  3. samuel orris

    samuel orris Sergeant

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    No expert, but . . .

    1) I would say yes
    2)Yes, definitely
    3) Maybe. Not sure about a tarp though, close up it almost looks like a hide of some type.
    4) Dunno.
    5) McClellan????
     
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  4. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    1. Yes
    2. - do. -
    3. ??
    4. It looks more like a sleeve patch/insignia; I think for example members of the signal corps wore some similar patch.
    5. It's not a regulation McClellan with what appears to be binding around it, but maybe it's some kind of officer's private-purchase variant.
     
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  5. Yankeedave

    Yankeedave 2nd Lieutenant

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    1-yes
    2-yes it's a chair. It collapses flat.
    3-in the left corner it looks like a chimney came out.
    4-i see what you mean.
    5-mclellen.
     
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  6. chubachus

    chubachus Sergeant

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    The tarp could signify a photographer used the building for photographing or printing portraits or maps. It does look a bit smaller than other such tarps on tents and buildings I have seen though.
     
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  7. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    Thanks for your replies. I don't remember seeing a Sibley tent that high off the ground!
     
  8. James B White

    James B White Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    Concerning 5, the saddle. Note the way there's a thingy sticking up along the back. Sort of a tab. I'm using technical terms here. Google images of a McClellan saddle and then Google images of a Grimsley saddle. You'll see that the Grimsleys all have that tab thingy in the back, to a greater or lesser degree, while the McClellans have a smooth, rounded back with nothing sticking up. I do not know what type of Grimsley saddle this is, but I would put it in the general Grimsley class. No idea where that word Grimsley was hiding in the back of my mind and how it popped up just now when it was needed.

    Grimsleys were usually connected with the artillery, or sometimes officers if this isn't an artillery outfit.
     
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  9. Shermanwasaterrorist

    Shermanwasaterrorist Private

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    4 - Looks like a riding crop or maybe some type of device. Really don't know exactly what it is but, the object doesn't seem to be wrapped or sewn to sleeve. I don't think the area where the object is located is actually attached to uniform.
     
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  10. Shermanwasaterrorist

    Shermanwasaterrorist Private

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    20170104_072810.png 20170104_072810.png
    Looks like it casts a slight shadow. I'll step up and say...it's not an insignia or badge, not attached to sleeve, the horse and attendant nearby lead me to conclude it's a riding crop.
     

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  11. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    It sure does look like a Grimsley. You got a little too technical with "thingy."

    I enlarged his arm as much as I could. Probably not a patch or armband. It does look like a shadow but does it match the direction of other shadows? It could be a crop.
     
  12. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    Oops, forgot the photo.
    Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 9.08.58 AM.png
     
  13. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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    Grimsleys lack the oval cut-out over the horse's backbone that is the hallmark of the McClellan and which this saddle apparently has; therefore this isn't properly a Grimsley. Most likely, it is a non-regulation private purchase officer's saddle that combines features of both.
     
  14. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa 1st Lieutenant

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    Thanks. Not a Grimsley nor a McClellan. Got it.
     
  15. James B White

    James B White Captain Trivia Game Winner

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    Okay--we are going to get into technical terms here. :D The wooden tree of both saddles has the cutout, right? The wooden tree can be either covered or uncovered, but the cutout is always there in the wooden tree to protect the horse's spine, in both the McClellan, the Grimsley, and every modern western and English saddle.

    The Civil War McClellan has a wooden tree with a cutout and a rawhide covering that shows the cutout. The name is based on the shape of the tree. Here's a modern McClellan saddle, still called a McClellan, where the opening is covered but the name is the same, still based on the tree.

    The Civil War Grimsley has a leather covering that conceals the cutout, but the cutout is still there in the wooden tree. If you took the leather off, the cutout would be visible. The name is based on the shape of the tree.

    So the picture shows a Grimsley tree that's not covered across its cutout, though it does look like it has a nicer leather covering, better than rawhide. I still believe it's a Grimsley saddle. The name is based on the shape of the tree, rather than the covering.

    For example, here's a Grimsley tree covered in rawhide like a Civil War McClellan. You can still see the raised "thingy" along the back. https://new.liveauctioneers.com/item/11570169

    I believe that the one in the OP photo is a non-standard Grimsley. It has a line that matches the usual brass trim around the edge of a Grimsley. I'm wondering if the center wore and was replaced with leather that fit the tree more closely, and therefore showed the opening, while the front and back still match a usual Grimsley with its brass trim.

    Also, in looking at images, I noticed that dragoon saddles, from a slightly earlier era, have that thingy rising in the back. Is the saddle in the picture possibly an old dragoon saddle?
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2017
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