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Armed & Bespectacled

Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Private Watkins, Sep 20, 2014.

  1. glenhunter

    glenhunter Private

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    Thank you for posting that link to a great article!!!!


    gh
     

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  3. Pvt.Shattuck

    Pvt.Shattuck First Sergeant

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    It is my understanding that the typical young soldier in the Civil War wouldn't be caught dead wearing spectacles because he would be the object of derision. If you think a "biled" shirt brought contempt on a man, imagine the attitude towards eyeglasses that connoted sissy, effete, weak, old, intellectual, etc. in a decidedly less enlightened mid-nineteenth century America. They are almost never seen in ACW images.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2014
  4. Northern Light

    Northern Light Captain

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    I remember when I first had to get glasses and they were SO UGLY!!! I hated wearing them. Now those same type of glasses are in style and my local glasses store says lots of people now get frames as a fashion accessory with plain glass in them! As least now that old phrase, "Guys don't make passes at girls who wear glasses", can be tossed in the rubbish heap of time.
     
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  5. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

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    CSA-
    Lt. Colonel John Charles Marshall, Colonel D.B. Harris, General Francis H. Smith, Colonel William Johnson Pegram, Colonel M.S. Stokes

    USA-
    Adam Badeau, Mason Brayman, George Chapman, Richard Delafield, Greeley, Brev General Joseph Eaton, George Greene, Gen. James A. Hardie, Henry H. Lockwood, George Meade, Joseph H. Potter, Carl Schurz, Brev General Warren Shedd, Horatio Van Cleve, Capt. W.W. Van Ness, Quartermaster, Edwin Stanton, Sec. of War, Charles Van Wyck

    Commodore S.C. Rowan

    Maj. Alexander Basezemwski , Gen. Benedict (Colonel Lewis Benedict), General? Edward Griffin Beckwith, Albemarle Cady, Franklin Dyer Callender, Captain Thomas B. Griffith (3rd Mass Vol Inf), Captain L. Wagley, Lt William Keeler, Col Henry Bohlen, Col Adam Slemmer, Capt. Wagley, Surgeon W.W. (C.W.?) Wheelwright
     
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  6. noman

    noman First Sergeant

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  7. Private Watkins

    Private Watkins 2nd Lieutenant

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    Ole General Delafield sort of seems to validate Pvt. Shattuck's thesis that wearing spectacles wasn't part of the hipster scene for that day and age...
     
  8. diane

    diane Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Joshua Chamberlain and D H Hill both wore glasses and I don't think anybody would call them sissies! Could be a perception for the average soldier, though. Glasses were also a spendy item - the average soldier likely couldn't afford them even if he needed them.
     
  9. ole

    ole Brev. Brig. Gen'l Retired Moderator

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    Don't forget Zollicoffer.
     
  10. LoyaltyOfDogs

    LoyaltyOfDogs Sergeant

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    I was interested to read Pvt. Shattuck's comments, because I've often wondered if there was some stigma associated with glasses that kept soldiers from wearing them. One who apparently did not wear glasses but perhaps should have was Col. George H. Covode of Co. D, 4th Pennsylvania Cavalry. From Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, he was the son of a Congressman and was known as an athlete. He died on June 24, 1864, of wounds suffered after he mistook a party of Confederate skirmishers for his own men. Here is the account from a 1918 history of Westmoreland County:

    He was always near-sighted, and mistaking some Confederate
    skirmishers for his own troops, he rode toward them and was shot in the
    arm and through the stomach by a volley which came when he had
    discovered his mistake and was turning to ride away. In the retreat his
    body was left within the enemy’s lines. He died a few hours after being
    shot.​
     
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  11. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

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    1/4th Plate Daguerreotype of Brevet Major General Richard Delafield, Being The Earliest Known Photograph Of Him
    lf.jpeg

    Heritage Auctions photo
     
  12. Private Watkins

    Private Watkins 2nd Lieutenant

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    That's a cool photo! Love the spectacles and the militia type sword...!
     
  13. James N.

    James N. Captain Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
    Annual Winner

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    What you're calling a "militia type sword" is actually the extremely RARE and completely regulation Sword for Officers of the Corps of Engineers, which is NOT the same as those for Officers of Topographical Engineers ( like what Meade carried ), which differs little from the officers' Dragoon sabers; both were made obsolete when the familiar M.1850 Sword for Officers of the Staff and Field was adopted. Delafield was Chief Engineer of the U. S. Army at the time.
     
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  14. Private Watkins

    Private Watkins 2nd Lieutenant

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    Very nice... I stand corrected.
     
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  15. Ray Ball

    Ray Ball Sergeant

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    Is here a photo of that particular sword anywhere that would allow me to see it better. Since we reenact Co. A US Engineers, I'd love to see that piece.
     
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  16. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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  17. Ray Ball

    Ray Ball Sergeant

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    Wow! That is simply some beautiful workmanship. I recall seeing one similar to that but thought it was a personal purchase or presentation sword. I had no idea that it was a regulation issue. Good luck finding a repro of that. Thank you so much M.E. Wolf and contributors to this thread. My education continues.
     
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  18. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Ray Ball,

    By any chance have you made contact with the Historian at the U.S. Corps of Engineers and/or U.S. Quartermaster Museum/Historian?

    See which sword company, e.g. Ames, etc., to see if they have better photos.

    http://search.aol.com/aol/image?q=R...cer's+Sword+and+Scabbard&v_t=keyword_rollover

    M. E. Wolf
     
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  19. AndyHall

    AndyHall Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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  20. Northern Light

    Northern Light Captain

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    Cannot find my 3-D glasses! Darn!
     
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  21. M E Wolf

    M E Wolf Colonel Retired Moderator

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    Just a Note.........

    Ray Ball and those readers interested.... I have made contact with Simon at Ames Sword Company, to which it seems will be more productive. I've taken the liberty of asking if they could give specifics about it; if they have any for reproduction; if they have authentic swords for sale.

    It will be interesting if they have other patterns for the Engineer Officer's sword.

    What will be interesting, as the reply was an inquisitive one -- to see if they have records for it or if they had been lost.

    M. E. Wolf
    Oct. 6, 2014 1:08 p.m.
     

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