1. Welcome to the CivilWarTalk, a forum for questions and discussions about the American Civil War! Become a member today for full access to all of our resources, it's fast, simple, and absolutely free!
Dismiss Notice
Join and Become a Patron at CivilWarTalk!
Support this site with a monthly or yearly subscription! Active Patrons get to browse the site Ad free!
START BY JOINING NOW!

USMRR Construction Corps photo question

Discussion in 'Period Civil War Photos & Examinations' started by Mike Serpa, Apr 9, 2018.

  1. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,843

  2. (Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)
  3. Gettmore

    Gettmore Private

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2015
    Messages:
    70
    Location:
    Western N.C.
    Mike, it appears to me to be bread. But there are a couple of other things which are interesting in this photo.
    A man wearing gloves, a man on a crutch and what appears to me to be some type of stake. bread.jpg bread.jpg
     
  4. chubachus

    chubachus Sergeant

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Messages:
    994
    Location:
    Virginia
    The bread was so hard that he was trying to convince his pals that it was bulletproof.
     
  5. byron ed

    byron ed Sergeant

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Midwest
    What I find interesting is that many of these fellows appear to be civilian contract.

    Anyway what could be seen as a glove on that particular (front row, 3rd from right) fellow could as well just be a bare hand (a slight blur making a hand look like a glove) but unremarkable in either case. Two other men have long gloves, particularly apparent on the front artillerist on the wheel hub. I really think that what could be seen as a crutch is simply just another long gun, being held in an informal (long-gloved) grasp. What could be seen as a stake could as well just be another piece of plant stubble like the other pieces strewn nearby. But again, either thing is unremarkable.

    (I only mean unremarkable in the sense of common and expected circumstance, not that it's not worth remarking about).
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2018
    jgoodguy and Mike Serpa like this.
  6. speedenforcer

    speedenforcer Private

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Florida
    Not sure it is bread unless it is in some type of packaging. If you look at the top row between the 2nd and 3rd "loaf" you will see a wrinkle. That makes it appear to be a large package or wrapping of some type. Also what kind of hat is that guy in the front wearing? The one with the Napoleon pose with hand in coat at chest. Also notice the one with a rifle? I'm not a photo expert but this photo appears odd to me but intriguing. I may have misspelled that last word.
     
    jgoodguy, lelliott19 and Mike Serpa like this.
  7. speedenforcer

    speedenforcer Private

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2010
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    Florida
    bread.jpg Also if some of yall thought that may be some type of supply wagon or other type transporting device like I initially thought , its not, its a cannon. One guy at top is holding either a rammer or sponge and you can clearly see the muzzle protruding out to the right.
     
  8. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,843
    To me it looks like multiple loaves of bread made joined together. The large loaf of bead is in the process of spitting.

    Yes, a cannon.
     
    jgoodguy and lelliott19 like this.
  9. byron ed

    byron ed Sergeant

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2017
    Messages:
    698
    Location:
    Midwest
    I'm seeing nothing other than bread loaves just-baked and just out of a depot camp oven, ready to be separated, in the same manner rolls are baked in a baking pan today - you simply separate them after baking.

    Perhaps the scale is what is throwing us off. Long-term or depot bakeries baked in bulk for lots of men in big ole brick ovens. I doubt they'd mess with one loaf at a time.
     
    Mike Serpa likes this.
  10. chubachus

    chubachus Sergeant

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Messages:
    994
    Location:
    Virginia
    Hmm, could the bread actually be bags of gunpowder for the cannon?
     
    Jimklag and Gladys Hodge Sherrer like this.
  11. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,843
    Why would bags of gunpowder be attached?
     
  12. JAGwinn

    JAGwinn Corporal

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2016
    Messages:
    290
    Location:
    Bloomington, IL Corvette Gold
    Could one man man-handle that much gunpowder? If each bag or section were 5lbs. of powder, I count 90lbs! I be a'thinkin' 18 loaves of bread.
     
    jgoodguy, chubachus and Mike Serpa like this.
  13. chubachus

    chubachus Sergeant

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2014
    Messages:
    994
    Location:
    Virginia
    No idea how they were stored. Maybe as a prank they were sown together? I think bread is way more likely still.

    For reference though, here are some repro gunpowder bags attached to shells for sale: http://www.aaamunitions.com/pics.htm
     
    Mike Serpa likes this.
  14. Mike Serpa

    Mike Serpa Captain

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2013
    Messages:
    6,843
    Thanks for the link. Expensive stuff!
     
  15. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    8,966
    Location:
    South west England
    I like the photo but I’m just not sure what message they were trying to convey (if any) at first I thought perhaps someone had suggested taking a picture of all the tradesmen, particularly those with specific jobs to do but if that was the case it would appear that only the baker made an effort, nobody else bothered to bring their tools of the trade, I’d expect to see a blacksmith or cook/butcher but there’s nothing giving any clue to what these men did. So why did they decide to place some random bloke in the middle of the picture with loaves of bread. The only plausible explanation that I can come up with is that the photo is letting people know that they are all safe and happy and everyone is eating well and taking care of themselves.
     
    Mike Serpa likes this.
  16. Waterloo50

    Waterloo50 Major Silver Patron

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2015
    Messages:
    8,966
    Location:
    South west England
    Another thought, maybe the significance of the bread has a serious side, remember the Richmond bread riots. Perhaps these guys are just letting people know that everything is fine and nobody is starving.
     
    Mike Serpa likes this.
  17. rebelatsea

    rebelatsea 2nd Lieutenant

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Messages:
    3,397
    Location:
    Kent ,England.
    And what about the apparent Russian looking guy, Front third from left. Is this photo what it claims to be ?
     
  18. John Hartwell

    John Hartwell Captain Forum Host

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2011
    Messages:
    6,953
    Location:
    Central Massachusetts
    Good question. There's nothing really "railroady" about this picture. And, a number of the men have a distinctly European appearance (note the headgear particularly) -- could be recent immigrants. But the whole thing just doesn't seem to fit the USMRR image.
     
    Mike Serpa and DaveBrt like this.
  19. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    25,879
    Location:
    Kentucky
    Had to check this one out. It has food. I think it looks like bread too.

    It is a great photo, as so many interesting people.
     
    Mike Serpa likes this.
  20. Gladys Hodge Sherrer

    Gladys Hodge Sherrer First Sergeant

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2017
    Messages:
    1,332
  21. Northern Light

    Northern Light Major

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2014
    Messages:
    8,507
    The photo says Gang A, so I would hazard a guess that this is a civilian work crew that is attached to the army, which would explain the many different styles of dress. They may well be immigrants; the cap on the man in front definitely looks Russian or eastern European. That is bread in the centre, you can see where the loaves are beginning to tear apart. The spike looks like on of those augers that you screw into the ground to tie up a dog.

    I also noticed that many of the men are slightly older than the average soldier. I think that perhaps they are a general work crew who help the army with many tasks around the camps.
     

(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)

Share This Page


(Membership has it privileges! To remove this ad: Register NOW!)