Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Just Like Us

The Civil War is the first that we really have actual images of that have survived and can give an actual visual impression of.  Most of us have a very limited opinion and imagery of this time, but the more I delve into it, the more I am fascinated by the actuality of it.

We have heard of the battles, the commanders, the causes, the flags, the strategies and the results, but it is the people that intrigue me. The flesh and blood, just like us human beings that were caught up in this earth-shattering event that nearly tore our country in half, and effected every ancestor of any American who had one arrive here prior to this time. The faces tell the tales. Of people just like us.

The above Union soldier had his "Swag" going on. His cockiness comes across in his photo.

Belle Boyd, a confederate spy. Attractive and tempting, she was considered successful in her operations and aims. She reminds me a little of a young Susan Sarandon.

Frances Hook, one of over 400 documented women who fought in the Civil War. Some entered under the guise of being male. Others wore a partial uniform and did not disguise their femininity, like Frances.

A pretty young Civil War nurse. She reminds me of a young girl I know today.

A Civil War pin-up girl. No, Mae West and Betty Grable were not the first pinup girls that wooed men on through a War. No, they were not considered proper for Antebellum ladies, but there were always those young widows,  fatherless girls, and disenfranchised misses who "had to do what they had to do".

Another female soldier. They took all of the same risks that the men did. It was reported that there were two unidentified female bodies found dead at the Battle of Gettysburg, both Confederate. Why they fought would be as varied as who they were. Perhaps they could not bear to be away from their husband, fiance, brothers or father. Perhaps they had nowhere to go or nothing to do when the men in their families marched off to war. Maybe they posed as male soldiers because they needed the money.

Don't this guy look a little like the kid you just ran into at the Speedy Mart?

Another chick, this one in Union garb. She had a bit of a flair going on, didn't she?

Edmund Ruffin. He was 65 years old when he joined the Confederate Army in Virginia. At first glance, he looks a little like a Native American. I don't know his genetics, however, he was known as a Virginian planter, and a agriculturalist. His studies and findings on soil conservation and use would peg him as "The Father of Soil Chemistry". He is also identified as one of 3 people who may have fired the first shot at Fort Sumter. He was a supporter of states rights and left Virginia and joined the Palmetto Guards in South Carolina.

Civil War doctor, Mary Edwards Walker.

General Eli S. Parker. He was a Seneca Indian and was appointed by U. S. Grant as Commissioner of Indian affairs.

Another Native American who fought in the Civil War.

Parker with his daughter. She shows little of her Native American heritage. The family passed into the European-American community.

Many Native Americans married into African-American families as well as families of Caucasian-European descent. As a result, Native Americans could range in appearance to a broad spectrum of phenotypes.

A very young soldier. This war took in young boys, old men, women, and actually anybody who would pick up a gun and fight.

I believe I just saw this handsome young man skateboarding down by the YMCA. Looks a little bit like Justin Bieber.

A Civil War soldier and Native American Scout.

Below, the First Louisiana Native Guard. Enough Said.

Next, another team of Soldiers that would not normally come to mind.

These two young friends liked to show off their weaponry like most teenaged boys. However, the times and era make this photo highly unusual. They are identified as Sgt. Andrew Martin Chandler and Silas Chandler.

This soldier likely has an interesting family tree.

As does this gentleman. Both appear to be multi-racial. It is unknown how they would identify or be identified, in a census record, say.

The above photo is of Nate Love, who was also know as Deadwood Dick. A Civil War vet, he would become a Cowboy of reknown in the old West after the war. He was born in 1854 and died in 1921. He had some Swagger in his pose, too.

Soldiers were often family men, like the below unidentified Union soldier and his daughter.

The following soldier had a very young bride. I wonder if he made it through the war to come back home to her.

This fellow was obviously a musician, and posing with his wife and daughters.

Sometimes entire families of brothers would enlist, often with their father as well.

What became of these poor children? Did daddy come home?

And the brotherly bonds would last a lifetime.

And in time, the wounds of the scarred country, would begin to heal.

These were not unrelated persons in an ancient, unrelevant time. They were people....just like us.

Below, a Civil War era family that followed their father into war.

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