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The Confederate Gunners in 1861

Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Andersonh1, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Captain Member of the Month

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    confederate_gunners_in_the_Civil_War.jpg
    We've been having a discussion on the following photo here: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/bl...-the-newspapers-said-1861-1865.129911/page-86 and since it could easily go off topic, it seems more appropriate to bring it here and consult the photo experts. This photo is found in the Photographic History of the Civil War, volume 5.

    I have two questions:
    1- can anyone locate a better quality copy of this photo?
    2- at least two of the gun crew appear black to me, the two men to the immediate right of the gun. What are others' opinions on this? I realize they're in the shadows under their wide brimmed hats, but so are others and they don't necessarily appear so dark-skinned.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 6, 2018

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  3. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    Wish I knew more. I do agree several seem to be colored. If that is a costal fort, perhaps in Louisiana, that is very likely.
     
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  4. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Captain Member of the Month

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  5. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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  6. AUG351

    AUG351 Captain Forum Host

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    This version might be a bit crisper:

    campo06.jpg

    Another photo:

    campo07.jpg
     
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  7. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Captain Member of the Month

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  8. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant Major

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    not a photo expert, but all 4 on the long handles appear could be to me, 3 black and back left could be mulatto....Hard to tell what's uniforms and what's not based on variety of dress and hats. Could it be a work detail rented from a local slave-owner working on emplacing it? just curious since all seem to be on the handles
     
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  9. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    archieclement,

    Please go to post# 3 of this thread provided by Andersonh1. Click on the referenced site and then click on the piture to enlarge it, then look again at the men you mention.

    I would be curious to see what race you think the men are after this examination.

    Unionblue
     
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  10. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant Major

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    Still looks the same to me, the back left would be hard to say conclusively is mulatto or creole, but certainly does appear darker then bearded guy in front of him and the dandy behind him

    Also odd if look at the dandy who I assume is the officer, then look at the guy at far right holding cannonball.....both their hats have bout the same brim and are angled about the same in the picture, but dramatic diff in coloration, don't see how it could be shadows from brim. Or the guy on hillside with hand on hip behind 3rd handle guy, same hat, same upward tilt, no mistaking its a white guy though, Also note the three I just compared with all about the same hat and position of the head......now look at their hands, cannonball guy who appears way darker in face, also has darker hands........the dandy may be wearing gloves, hard to tell
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2017
  11. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Odd, as I have yet to see any man with black or negro features when I use this picture and it's enlargement feature.
     
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  12. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant Major

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    well the front two on handles and back right are so dark its hard to make out any features, I'll admit I may be reaching on 4th, just seemed odd all four were on the handles to me, so wondered if the four may have been a work detail instead of actual crew........
     
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  13. AshleyMel

    AshleyMel First Sergeant

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    I really wish there was more information about the gentleman the picture.

    For those of you looking for certain features or a certain look. I know I don't have to remind y'all we come in all skin tones and fashions. I've had this issue my whole life. It took a DNA test to dispel all questions.

    I had a lady reach for my hand just a few weeks ago to look for a "tell". She didn't mean any harm but it was uncomfortable to say the least.

    Please be kind.
     
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  14. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    The man on the handle photo right (in front of the Muzzle) seems to be wearing a military buckle.
     
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  15. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Captain Member of the Month

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    He looks like he has a cartridge box too.
     
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  16. archieclement

    archieclement Sergeant Major

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    What's oddest to me about the picture isn't it somewhat odd the ones in question are all amongst the closest? There seems little difficulty discerning the back row .
     
  17. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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  18. Mild53

    Mild53 First Sergeant

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    White
     
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  19. unionblue

    unionblue Brev. Brig. Gen'l Member of the Year

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    Indeed.

    But let's be sure.

    Are any of those men wearing gloves?
     
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  20. Andersonh1

    Andersonh1 Captain Member of the Month

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    I saw that, and I think the man on the right is wearing gloves. Like everything else, it's difficult to be sure, but it looks like gloves to me, based on what look like wrinkes in fabric. Compare him with the man on the far left foreground, who does not appear to be wearing gloves. Or, it could be dirt/sand making his hands appear light, because his shoes are also light from the sand. Again, look at the man in the left foreground, who has one light and one dark shoe/boot.

    If only they had color photography in 1861. It would make this easier. :smile:
     
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  21. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    As we are all guessing as to what all this means, here is my guess & reasoning. Upper right corner there is a man with a musket and one with a shove. Coming down there is a line of five men dressed similarly and sort of standing at attention and an officer just to the left of them. There are both stacked muskets and stacked cannon balls that seem to be of a different caliber than the mortar in the foreground. Working on the mortar are some men dressed in what appears to be military uniform and some not. Standing on the mortar is our dandy with dapper dress but stripes down his pants. Upper left a bunch of guys standing around in civilian dress. I make it soldiers with a work part setting up the mortar with the Dandy being the man who raised the unit. There are several hangers on just watching the picture being taken. In other words a cross section of Southerners who would be in a fort. As such it would not be unusual to have a broad cross section of races.
     
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