Rosenstock photo "debunked"?

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#41
It was, Co. B 17th Mississippi, just found one of the threads it was posted in. @Mike Serpa posted a blown up version of it that's fantastic, you can really pick out some great uniform details from it.
Yes but they did not show evidence of having bayonets, so it must have been after the surrender:unsure:
 
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#42
View attachment 191007
A recent story in the Washington Post claims that 2 Civil War buffs have "debunked" the claim
that the famous Rosenstock photo of a Confederate army on the move in Frederick, MD was taken in 1862 during the Antietam campaign. They say it was actually taken in 1864 prior to the Battle of Monocacy and the location of the photo is also incorrect.

They offer some compelling evidence, but also some reasoning that I don't fully agree with. For example, they say that since none of the rifles appear to have bayonets, it must be a late war photo because soldiers had thrown them away by then. However, they wouldn't be marching with fixed bayonets, and they could very well be in bayonet scabbards on their belts on the left side, and therefore not visible. It's not also a foregone conclusion that most Confederate soldiers discarded their bayonets as useless by 1864.

Regardless, it's an interesting examination and interpretation of the photo.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...8eb28bc52b1_story.html?utm_term=.907efbe23eba
This as they say is a load of BS, the family is still in possession of the photo and say that it was taken during the Sharpsburg campaign. The bayonet thing is a reenactorism and to base your theory on that is thinner than thin. Last I knew, the picture is in the hands of a descendent, who is an attorney and still resides in Frederick. The story passed from generation to generation is that it was a picture of Jackson's (Left Wing or 2nd Corps) troops marching through Frederick.
 

captaindrew

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#43
Yes but hey did not show evidence of having bayonets, so it must have been after the surrender:unsure:
You made me go back and look again, yeah you can't see any but the few guys that have their accoutrements on are at an angle you wouldn't see them, maybe the guy on the left with the tall beehive hat may have one. They're hiding them on purpose so we could speculate about it today. :O o:
 
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#46
I think everyone needs to relook at the photo and disregard the bayonets. How many Frock Coats can you make out in the picture? If you are looking for a time stamp there it is.

There are plenty of men in Frock coats which would date this primarily in the early part of the war and 1862 would be a given, as case in point South Carolina Troops were issued Frock coats up till early 1863 before changing to the shell jacket.
 
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#47
I think everyone needs to relook at the photo and disregard the bayonets. How many Frock Coats can you make out in the picture? If you are looking for a time stamp there it is.

There are plenty of men in Frock coats which would date this primarily in the early part of the war and 1862 would be a given, as case in point South Carolina Troops were issued Frock coats up till early 1863 before changing to the shell jacket.
I've actually had this debate and it is difficult to discern whether they are frocks or not, I go for yes, but others say that what looks like a skirt is actually the bottom edge of a haversack.....
 

captaindrew

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#48
I've actually had this debate and it is difficult to discern whether they are frocks or not, I go for yes, but others say that what looks like a skirt is actually the bottom edge of a haversack.....
I don't know how much time I've spent closely looking at this photo trying to pick out details of what they are wearing and their gear and it is very clear to me that at least a handful of them are wearing frocks. The guys standing to the side on the left are very clearly wearing frocks, one of the young boys looking back at the camera appears to be wearing a frock, and the guy near them in the middle of the column, looking forward, with his gun in the order arms position is clearly wearing a frock.
 
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#49
I don't know how much time I've spent closely looking at this photo trying to pick out details of what they are wearing and their gear and it is very clear to me that at least a handful of them are wearing frocks. The guys standing to the side on the left are very clearly wearing frocks, one of the young boys looking back at the camera appears to be wearing a frock, and the guy near them in the middle of the column, looking forward, with his gun in the order arms position is clearly wearing a frock.
I am in agreement, but there are those that refuse to see it.
 
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#50
I think as clear as day the fellow in the middle is wearing a Frock as is the gentleman on the side of the road. I am not sure you would have seen that in 1864 except from an officer. Although many of them went to shell jackets for fatigue uniforms. Anyway, I find it interesting in all their research they focused on bayonets instead of uniforms. Sometimes the simplest answers are the ones right in front.
 
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#51
View attachment 191007
A recent story in the Washington Post claims that 2 Civil War buffs have "debunked" the claim
that the famous Rosenstock photo of a Confederate army on the move in Frederick, MD was taken in 1862 during the Antietam campaign. They say it was actually taken in 1864 prior to the Battle of Monocacy and the location of the photo is also incorrect.

They offer some compelling evidence, but also some reasoning that I don't fully agree with. For example, they say that since none of the rifles appear to have bayonets, it must be a late war photo because soldiers had thrown them away by then. However, they wouldn't be marching with fixed bayonets, and they could very well be in bayonet scabbards on their belts on the left side, and therefore not visible. It's not also a foregone conclusion that most Confederate soldiers discarded their bayonets as useless by 1864.

Regardless, it's an interesting examination and interpretation of the photo.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...8eb28bc52b1_story.html?utm_term=.907efbe23eba
That's beyond shaky ground for a time line on their part, and to try and make an assumption and make it into fact by saying the Confederate soldiers would have discarded their bayonets by 1864? That's not even walking around sense...1864 would be a terrible year for combat....also soldiers don't typically March with fixed bayonets...their train of thought and brainstorming goes off the track and into a canyon, I can't believe anyone with common sense would take that serious.....
 
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#52
I've seen that photo and it's great. I just started to wonder if a photographer ever followed the CSA troops.
There was one from New Orleans who followed the Confederate Army along the Gulf Coast area ( I say gulf Coast as a reference and general location I know someone will make sure to point out that the location I give is not down to the exact inch on the map) Also of great interest there was a Female photographer in the same area who photographed Confederate Soldiers and I believe that she was the only female to photograph soldiers in the field
 
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#54
I'm re-opening this thread as I recently listened to Bob Zeller, director of the Center for Civil War Photography on
The Chronicles of the American Civil War podcast talking about this photo. What was interesting is that the big issue was Rosenstock not being a photographer, but this didnt seem to be that earth shattering as a photographer can take photographs anywhere, not just the roof of his own building. I had no idea why this was grounds to indicate the date or location of the photo. I was also surprised that the location has been the object of so much debate, I had thought the location was pretty verifiable even today.


What I was hoping he would discuss (which he didnt) is the access to this photo. I remain perplexed as to why we have not been given access to a high resolution version of this photo which I believe to be (with the exception of the firing ironclads, which Bob Zeller confirmed is 100% authentic) the most important/valuable photo we have from the war.

also as many of you said last year this "debunked" is the improper word to use for this issue.
 

Story

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#55
they say that since none of the rifles appear to have bayonets, it must be a late war photo because soldiers had thrown them away by then. However, they wouldn't be marching with fixed bayonets, and they could very well be in bayonet scabbards on their belts on the left side, and therefore not visible.
This.
Over and done.
 
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#56
One of the things I love about CWT is the opportunity to breathe life into an 'old' thread. Many issues brought up to 'debunk' the debunking of this photo fail to include one important point. IF Confederate soldiers were casting aside their bayonets in any great numbers, where are the written accounts to prove it? CW soldiers recorded a great many mundane details, but one can hardly believe that they would have failed to record this singular, important issue.

Second, while bayonets HAVE been recovered from campsites, the scant number doesn't seem to supports the belief that soldiers were casting them aside in any numbers. One or two, perhaps, as they become worn, damaged, or otherwise unserviceable, but certainly not an army's worth.

Would there have been times when certain regiments were armed, sans bayonets? Certainly, especially if soldiers replaced their old muskets with 'battlefield' acquisitions. After all, its quite probable that the Yank who threw down his rifle and fled the battle, wouldn't have been so kind as to remove the bayonet from his scabbard and leave it behind as well.

It is my contention that trying to date ANY photograph through ONE commonly shared detail is folly. To me, taken as a whole (based on today's scholarship) the uniforms and condition of the soldiers, and their discernible equipment, look to be early rather than later in the conflict. After all, by '64 a great many issued jackets would have been made of 'English Army Cloth,' a dark gray kersey that would have been distinctively obvious in ANY photo. Alas, there appears to be none of these jackets in the ranks.

Finally, another point to ponder... General Lee made it very clear that the ANV was NOT to take on the aire of an invading army as it passed into Maryland, but rather, an army of liberation. To march through a town occupied by civilians, while brandishing bayonets, would have made a bold statement not in keeping with Lee's major objectives, gain the sympathy of Marylanders, recruit volunteers from The Old Line State, and perhaps support in her secession. I believe that the field commanders of the ANV would have understood this clearly, and (without orders) would have also seen fixed bayonets as a provocative image not in keeping with their objectives.

Just my non-scientific opinion.
 
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#57
What I was hoping he would discuss (which he didnt) is the access to this photo. I remain perplexed as to why we have not been given access to a high resolution version of this photo which I believe to be (with the exception of the firing ironclads, which Bob Zeller confirmed is 100% authentic) the most important/valuable photo we have from the war.
Interesting, I hope it is added to the Library of Congress someday.
 
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#58
It is my contention that trying to date ANY photograph through ONE commonly shared detail is folly. To me, taken as a whole (based on today's scholarship) the uniforms and condition of the soldiers, and their discernible equipment, look to be early rather than later in the conflict. After all, by '64 a great many issued jackets would have been made of 'English Army Cloth,' a dark gray kersey that would have been distinctively obvious in ANY photo. Alas, there appears to be none of these jackets in the ranks.
As further info and to as to your point that I have quoted, this is a thread by fellow member @tullock and author of the book Never in Rags that raised the hackles of some here, but appears well researched to me.

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/new-confederate-uniform-book-never-in-rags.127044/

Perhaps it should be bumped w/ your added observations.
 
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#59
Well I think everyone is in agreement, the folks who said that they think maybe kinda probably the picture was taken in 1864 rather than 1862 because they see no bayonets, and there is widely held belief that bayonets were dispensed with early on. Kind of a headscratcher that anyone would base research conclusions on one.

1. Four possible frock coats.
2. In the version here I see no indications of kepis (in higher resolution versions I think I've spotted 2 or 3 possible kepis, its been a while)
3. I don't see any epaulettes on any of them, indicative of Type 1 and 2 Richmond Depot Jackets that were running around in some units of the ANV, but the soldiers are all at "right shoulder shift" and the picture was taken from a right angle, (elevated of course), and combined with other factor its hard to tell in this version, so there may be some epaulettes on their jackets in there somewhere
4. All uniforms look to be domestic jeans or other fabrics, I don't see any English Kersey cloth uniforms in the ranks, (an important consideration for the 1864 theory)
5. I see maybe 13 or 14 blanket rolls, and 8 of them are over the right shoulder, (very important to me as I have tarred and feathered as farby by many fellow reenactors, mostly hard core campaigner types for merely suggesting that soldiers would have worn them over their right shoulder, and that it was a more practical way)
6. And finally I see no bayonets, in scabbards but that isn't very important as bayonets were carried on the left side, and we don't see that view

I'm sure there are many details to pick apart, but in the version here I see isn't clear, (perhaps someone can bring out a higher resolution version?) but all and all there is more than enough common sense details there to plainly see its more than likely 1862 rather than 1864.

I wonder if there's a colored version out there yet, that'd look good blown up (enlarged) on a wall.
 
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#60
Rusk County Avengers, you make a very good point about the blanket rolls, I agree with you as it annoys me that there is this idea that blanket rolls were worn only one way, this "debunks" (ha) this idea as does other photo evidence I have seen. This photo is not reversed either and there clearly is a varity of ways of carrying equipment demonstrated in this photo.

I also have noted the varying styles of carrying the rifles indicated in this photo, which may cause some disagreement with some "hardcore" reenactor types. I do think it is pretty clear they are halted in the street and not slowly walking as several men (one clearly visible in the center) have the stocks of their rifles resting on the ground.

The photo is beyond fascinating, I really wish we could have a high resolution version to pour over.
 



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