Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Mike Serpa, Jan 5, 2017.
Col. James P. McMahon and group at headquarters of 164th N.Y. Inf.
I wonder what they would think if they were using chess pieces like these?
I recommend rook to king's rook three for the next move.
Interesting the chess set. The pieces are a delicate lot (I assume because they were hand crafted). I like the rook design with what appears to be a watch tower in the center. I added a photo of a rook from that period (not as squat as your normal rook).
At first glance black looks to be losing but they still have their Castle, Rook and Knight next to the King and Queen,It looks like that both the white King and Queen were both vulnerable, its hard to tell but black has a Knight that could take the King, its hard to tell how many squares apart they were but white looks to be losing the game.
Both officers have a different approach, the white player preferred an all out attack where the black player was a thinker, a clear tactician, he choses to protect his King and Queen by holding them at the rear. I wonder if their chess game reflected their military thinking.
I was also thinking that. It' s not easy analyzing the board from this angle but the unique shapes of the pieces help. The white queen seems to be exposed but I cannot determine the degree of threat that the black knight is imposing. Interesting opposing styles of play - my money is on the colonel.
So who might these folk be?
I had to look this guy up, for reference sake
Previous McMahoning http://civilwartalk.com/threads/colonel-james-p-mcmahon.90517/
As he stood at the top of the mound he was gunned down by several riflemen, riddled with 18 bullets.
"You ought to known not to stand by the window, somebody see you that way" -
Life During Wartime (Talking Heads)
Thanks for this. I don't know enough about chess to analyze this game. I know how the pieces move but can't put together an attack or defense.
Thanks for the links! On brother died of disease, one brother killed in action, one brother a Medal of Honor recipient.
Needless to say this leaves much room for debate. It is my humble opinion the game has just gotten started and no pieces have yet been captured. I will guess that McMahon's opponent opened with King's Pawn to King 4 and deployed the white Queen and the white King's Bishop with McMahon advancing his King's Pawn, Knight and Bishop. Hard to be certain but this could be the situation with White to move.
So, if pieces were captured they would be on the table at the sides of the board?
I would agree with that - which is why I believe the game is only three moves old and there have been no "casualties" yet.
The White Queen's position would make sense - protecting the King's Pawn from the Black Knight.
My wife gave me a Civil War chess set for our anniversary a few years ago. I taught my granddaughter how to play and have since given her the set. She plays very well, by the way.
My mother taught us to play when young, I never became skilled but can still play. She told me her father used to play opponents through the mail, you have to be some dedicated to do that, one move per postcard.
Could this be the quartermaster engaged with the colonel in a game of chess? I have these straps in my collection that look very similar!
The following is an extract from a private letter dated Barrancas, Fla., Oct. 5, 1864:
"Gen. ASBOTH, who was so seriously wounded at Marianna, Fla., was taken yesterday noon from his immovable position to a more comforable one. His arm, with the double fracture, was placed in an angular splint, and the other wound was properly examined and dressed.
The General, though he took chloroform, was yet fully conscious, and conversed fluently and in a joking manner with those around him, evidently not suffering much pain under the operation. Among the medical officers in attendance was Dr. PALMER, the Fleet Surgeon, Navy Surgeon TURNER, rebel Admiral BUCHANAN's Fleet Surgeon CONRAD and others. Dr. PALMER is confident that the arm can be saved and the General soon brought again into the saddle. The General himself is in the best of spirits, continuing to attend to his official duties, and resorting at times to the diversions of the chess board, which he plays with equal fondness and skill."
Interesting. What about the crest on the hat in his lap?
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