First Bull Run Soldiers Prior to Bull Run Photo - hope this posts

Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Those are the Richmond Grays, a militia unit at the time of the trial and execution of John Brown. They are assembled in response to the John Brown Raid and while not participating in the capture of Brown, formed a square around the gallows at his hanging. John Wilkes Booth was a member of this unit.
 

James B White

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Those are the Richmond Grays, a militia unit at the time of the trial and execution of John Brown. They are assembled in response to the John Brown Raid and while not participating in the capture of Brown, formed a square around the gallows at his hanging. John Wilkes Booth was a member of this unit.
Better explanation! Thanks. I doubt they would be wearing greatcoats getting ready to fight at Bull Run.
 
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
The
Richmond Grays were part of the 1st Virginia Infantry., now part of the Virginia National Guard.

Like most National Guard units organized as militia in what were the 13 colonies it has a long storied service.

Organized in the 1650s it served in the Colonial Wars, the War for Independence and all the way through WW I. In the post WW I reorganization of the army, the 1st VA was re-designated the 176th Infantry. Another reorganization re-designated it the 276th Engineer Battalion as it served in the War on terror in Iraq.
 

Robert Gray

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Jul 24, 2012
Another photograph of the Richmond Grays.
confederate-soldiers-1861-granger (1).jpg
 

Frederick14Va

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Location
Virginia
The Richmond Greys itself was formed in 1844, as part of the state volunteer corp., assigned as part of the 19th Virginia Line Militia. In 1851 the state authorized formation of state Regiments. The "Greys" becoming part of the then formed 1st Virginia Volunteers.... In 1856 the respective companies were designated Letter designations. The Greys were assigned as Company-A. April 1861 they were sent to Norfolk. They like several other companies of the 1st Va Vol. were not present in Richmond when the 1st Va was officially accepted into Confederate Service. The Richmond Greys thereafter became Company-G of the 12th Virginia Infantry for the remainder of the war.

There are other photos existent, part of this same series of these photographs. Others show some of the troops not donning greatcoats at the time showing their fatigue (shell) jackets. The same style and trim fashion, as was popular in that region, later adopted and copied in later Richmond Depot (Type-I) clothing issues early war. Some of the companies of the 1st Va were wearing black greatcoats in 1861. Most of the respective companies had their own unique style uniform.
 

FahanParish

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Those are the Richmond Grays, a militia unit at the time of the trial and execution of John Brown. They are assembled in response to the John Brown Raid and while not participating in the capture of Brown, formed a square around the gallows at his hanging. John Wilkes Booth was a member of this unit.

Thanks for the correction - I found the photo on a website which titled it before Bull Run - I did wonder at how well outfitted they were.
 

Frederick14Va

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Virginia
- I did wonder at how well outfitted they were.
Many of these pre-war companies were the best of the best of what the locality had to offer. Very well uniformed, armed and equipped. One of the other companies of the old 1st Va Volunteers were outfitted with complete sets of fancy accoutrements and knapsacks imported from Paris...
 

Klaudly

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Nov 11, 2013
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Italy
The Richmond Greys itself was formed in 1844, as part of the state volunteer corp., assigned as part of the 19th Virginia Line Militia. In 1851 the state authorized formation of state Regiments. The "Greys" becoming part of the then formed 1st Virginia Volunteers.... In 1856 the respective companies were designated Letter designations. The Greys were assigned as Company-A. April 1861 they were sent to Norfolk. They like several other companies of the 1st Va Vol. were not present in Richmond when the 1st Va was officially accepted into Confederate Service. The Richmond Greys thereafter became Company-G of the 12th Virginia Infantry for the remainder of the war.

There are other photos existent, part of this same series of these photographs. Others show some of the troops not donning greatcoats at the time showing their fatigue (shell) jackets. The same style and trim fashion, as was popular in that region, later adopted and copied in later Richmond Depot (Type-I) clothing issues early war. Some of the companies of the 1st Va were wearing black greatcoats in 1861. Most of the respective companies had their own unique style uniform.

What kind of hat, have the soldier in upper right of first photo?
 

Frederick14Va

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Virginia
What kind of hat, have the soldier in upper right of first photo?

Some have suspected he might be wearing a fur covered busby. However the brim of the hat visible typically isn't the type that a busby typically had... its shaped more like that a kepi would use. Some have pondered it is an optical illusion from the angle of the camera... He is wearing the standard kepi, but happens to be standing directly in front of another unidentified object directly behind him... so from viewers angle and perspective appears to be one and the same object on his head.... No one knows conclusively for certain... It is also known that the Band of the First Virginia had quite elaborate uniforms.... The Drum Major of the 1st Va was photographed wearing a massively huge busby with a large pompom on top of that....
drumMajor3493907.jpg
 

TerryB

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Dec 7, 2008
Location
Nashville TN
Have always thought it was the man in the center but I just don't know.
The faded face of the man in the extreme left looks way more like Booth. Thanks for the input- I never knew much about the men in this photo except that they looked way too well-dressed and remarkably uniform in appearance, down to the headgear.
 

M E Wolf

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Forrest

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Sep 25, 2015
http://antebellumrichmond.com/special-edition-glimpsing-a-shadow-from-richmond.htmlWhile looking for a clear image of the most famous of these Richmond Grays group ambrotype photos, I discovered a crazy bunch of research that i.d.'d one of the men as John Wilkes Booth. The thread with the articles involves a lot of high-fives and back-patting for the fabulous research done by someone who very badly wanted Booth to be in the photo. The research was great, but the forensics were deplorable.

The odd thing to me, is that the blurry guy at the back left DOES look somewhat like Booth. If you made me bet my life on someone in that photo being Booth, I would definitely go with Blurry-man.

We go through this all the time in the baseball history world - everyone on ebay seems to own a photo of Ruth, Cobb, Wagner or Jackson (sometimes all four).

I accidentally closed one of the windows that I meant to provide a link to, but here's the one with the forensic 'evidence': http://antebellumrichmond.com/special-edition-glimpsing-a-shadow-from-richmond.html
 

Forrest

Sergeant
Joined
Sep 25, 2015
#4 is the man who has been i.d.'d by the researcher as Booth. Based on the research done, it's likely that Booth is included in one of the 'Richmond Grays' photos, but whether or not that image still exists is unknown. If he's in one of the two shown below, I believe #8 is more likely. There is a third photo showing some of these men, but I can't find a high-enough resolution version to include in the comparisons.

Richmond Grays x2.png
 

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