Brev. Brig. Gen'l
- Feb 14, 2012
- Central Pennsylvania
It didn't take much browsing through this public access LoC image from City Point to catch a whole lot of mess. Between the disorganized dockside arrangements, supplies apparently tossed randomly onto barges, what looks like a floating homestead someone threw away and someone's compacted household stacked on a roof ( is that a legless table? ) how did any of this get cleaned up by 2019? I looked. It's not there.
Here's a favorite, Steamer Wenonah at White House Landing, Pamunkey.
I ' think ' Wenonah had just come from trying to pull another steamer free, having run aground. This crop is wonderful, waiting or unloading? Tough to tell.
Bored? There's not only a man looking like he's given up ever, ever going anywhere again sitting hand to face, there are legs and feet attached to an unseen napper. Lumber piles, a hay bale, men and horses, barge wonderfully tied to a tree. Dead tree in the foreground seems a kind of statement.
Canal Boat Corn Exchange seems awfully over loaded with hay. It got there, which was the point of these landings. Supplies, wounded, soldiers transport, one ship could have had a very varied war.
It seems despite all efforts by the Sanitary Commission to improve hygiene ( and it took awhile for the coin to drop on why " Sanitary " . Duh. ) no one could be persuaded to just, plain clean things up. Without knowing this as fact it's a little safe thinking military neatness prevailed in some places. A few camp photos show us pristine order, taut tent ropes, straight rows, smartly uniformed men and raked ground. Other places? Tents apparently pitched at random, collections of shack apparently built in a state of fall-down disorder and mysterious heaps of debris we may not wish to poke around in.
it's not just wharfs and landings, they just provide a very good indication of some general seediness in spots. You know those elegant ' saloons ' depicted inside some luxury steamers? Try a transport.
Bring your own chair, saddled ( box on floor in foreground ) and newspaper.
Winnisimmet, looking like several abandoned warehouses nailed on a raft, boards nailed across the window, You can see a bench inside that rickety door. And some floating debris we probably wouldn't like to smell. What I love is the neatly coiled rope- a sailor sticking to it.
Also City Point, Columbia tied up at one wharf, wagons waiting to unload in the background, an old wharf catching more debris and the chaotic cluster of war.
Possibly the chaotic mix of civilian enterprise and military presence was just too much who knows? I'm always struck by the plain, old mess prevailing especially on various wharfs at landings. City Point's wharf could be such a shambles it can be difficult ascertaining which on earth photos are of the explosion's aftermath and which are just a collective mess composed of supplies, debris, building materials and ( you just know ) rats dead and alive. How'd anyone not trip over the war?
Disclaimer here is no, I didn't say all. It's just not as much fun poking around tidiness.
I'm not sure if this tidy wharf is one of the U-shaped a nurse wrote of? Order prevails in this part of City Point's landing , steamer Silver Star and X A. MoXXX taking on coal?
After the tragic explosion there, it can take awhile ascertaining what we're seeing. I've seen it listed understandably as ' loading supplies '. These are all Library of Congress images in public access. Thank you LoC.
The explosion is a whole ' nother story. Sophronia Bucklin was there, nearly hit by falling debris. Her account is more than chilling and like I said, a whole 'nother thread.
There's more ( there's always more ). If it's of interest, ' in ( messy ) camps ' tomorrow.