Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Private Watkins, Sep 20, 2014.
Thank you for posting that link to a great article!!!!
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.
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.
Lt. Colonel John Charles Marshall, Colonel D.B. Harris, General Francis H. Smith, Colonel William Johnson Pegram, Colonel M.S. Stokes
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
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...
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.
Don't forget Zollicoffer.
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
1/4th Plate Daguerreotype of Brevet Major General Richard Delafield, Being The Earliest Known Photograph Of Him
Heritage Auctions photo
That's a cool photo! Love the spectacles and the militia type sword...!
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.
Very nice... I stand corrected.
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.
Try this link, sir.
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.
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.
M. E. Wolf
Cannot find my 3-D glasses! Darn!
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.
Separate names with a comma.