PDA

View Full Version : Civil War - Identity of Two Star General in Photo?



Pages : [1] 2

jon koss
09-26-2009, 03:59 PM
I have been trolling the uncharted recesses of my photo collection and dredged up this photo CDV of what appears to be a two star general. I have never been able to identify him. Does anyone have any ideas on his identity or even possible sources of information about same?

Thanks in advance,

Jon

David A. Goldfarb
09-26-2009, 04:14 PM
A trip to the Library of Congress may be in order, but you might start here, in case they have it online--

http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/cwphtml/cwphome.html

Christopher Walrath
09-26-2009, 11:08 PM
This site (http://www.mathewbrady.com/photos.htm) indicates it is an albumen print in 2 3/8" by 4" format. Also that is would almost have to have been made post-war. Matthew Brady started using this in late 1865. As to the officer's identity, your guess is as good as mine.

Fotoguy20d
09-26-2009, 11:19 PM
Jon,

If nobody can help you out in the next day or two, I"ll send a link to this thread to a few living history folks I know. Maybe one of them can make an ID.

Dan

jnanian
09-27-2009, 12:32 AM
It looks like William Henry Beck of Pennsylvania ..

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/whbeck.htm

jon koss
09-27-2009, 12:37 AM
Thanks for the notes, everyone. I went through the LOC site for quite a while but could not find a match. The size is something closer to 4 inches by 5.25 inches - sorry for not including that info. The 627 Penn Ave gallery did not open until 1868, but I am not sure if that necessarily means that the image was captured post-war. The 627 Penn Ave gallery closed around 1880. I am assuming the photo is closer to 1868 since I think CDV's were falling out of favor possibly even before 1870. The vexing thing is that it looks for all the world like a Union general but I have not been able to match it to anyone. There were not that many Major Generals roaming the countryside back in the day!

Edit: Sorry JNanian - I did not see your post before I posted this one!

Best,
Jon

John Koehrer
09-27-2009, 02:24 PM
Beck didn't make rank until after 1900 though.

David A. Goldfarb
09-27-2009, 02:48 PM
And according to the Arlington site, he died a Brigadier General.

According to the Wikipedia page on the Confederate Army, a Lt. Colonel used the insignia of two stars--

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_Army

Did the Brady studio make portraits of Confederate officers?

jnanian
09-27-2009, 02:56 PM
red herring i guess ...

they guy looked like they could have been the same person !
i know cabinet cards were made well into the early 1900s of some
of the civil war veterans ... so maybe it was made later than
just after the civil war ... i wonder when brady's studio closed down ...

john

cowanw
09-27-2009, 03:45 PM
http://mcns.blogspot.com/2008_07_01_archive.html
http://www.bowdoin.edu/news/archives/1bowdoincampus/005258.shtml
http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://learn.bowdoin.edu/joshua-lawrence-chamberlain/photos/images/chamberlain-moustache.jpg&imgrefurl=http://learn.bowdoin.edu/joshua-lawrence-chamberlain/photos/&usg=__bSyaazFfuwwRlNH-gP6c1RCm-bg=&h=475&w=500&sz=118&hl=en&start=87&um=1&tbnid=p7XrcopsMRb2vM:&tbnh=124&tbnw=130&prev=/images%3Fq%3DJoshua%2BLawrence%2BChamberlain%26nds p%3D20%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us%26sa%3DN%26start%3D80%26um%3D1
I am thinking the grand old man of Maine Joshua Chamberlain

cowanw
09-27-2009, 03:51 PM
also
http://www.gazellebookservices.co.uk/Military/originals/Military/General%20Military/Joshua%20Chamberlain.jpg
http://webspace.webring.com/people/qy/yankybelle/jlcold1.jpg

David A. Goldfarb
09-27-2009, 04:06 PM
I like Bill's suggestion. It looks like the moustache in the fourth and eleventh images and the uniform of the ninth image on this page, and he's got two stars--

http://learn.bowdoin.edu/joshua-lawrence-chamberlain/photos/

Ed Sukach
09-27-2009, 11:29 PM
My guess: Major General Ambrose Burnside.
See: www.old-picture.com .

From there, Google " Ambrose Burnside ".

Anscojohn
09-28-2009, 12:53 AM
This site (http://www.mathewbrady.com/photos.htm) indicates it is an albumen print in 2 3/8" by 4" format. Also that is would almost have to have been made post-war. Matthew Brady started using this in late 1865. As to the officer's identity, your guess is as good as mine.
******
The site indicates that the Imperial CDV was larger than what you state.

Anscojohn
09-28-2009, 12:54 AM
My guess: Major General Ambrose Burnside.
See: www.old-picture.com .

From there, Google " Ambrose Burnside ".

*******
Absolutely not. Burnside was never a two-star general at that advanced age.

Anscojohn
09-28-2009, 12:58 AM
I like Bill's suggestion. It looks like the moustache in the fourth and eleventh images and the uniform of the ninth image on this page, and he's got two stars--

http://learn.bowdoin.edu/joshua-lawrence-chamberlain/photos/
*******
It does look a bit like Chamberlain; but Chamberlain would have been much younger as a Brigadier General of Volunteers and was mustered out as a Major-General of Volunteers.

Anscojohn
09-28-2009, 01:04 AM
I have been trolling the uncharted recesses of my photo collection and dredged up this photo CDV of what appears to be a two star general. I have never been able to identify him. Does anyone have any ideas on his identity or even possible sources of information about same?

Thanks in advance,

Jon

I apologize for thinking a two-star General was a BG; rather than a MG.
I stand by my opinions, however, that Burnside and Chamberlain were much younger when they achieved that rank. The absence of any other accoutrement makes me wonder if perhaps it is the uniform of a military school, or some such.

Galah
09-28-2009, 01:07 AM
It looks like William Henry Beck of Pennsylvania ..

http://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/whbeck.htm

How?

The unidentified guy in the picture is a Major General, WH Beck only made Bigadier General (it says so on his tombstone)

cowanw
09-28-2009, 07:36 AM
Yes Chamberlain was a young man when first a two star general.
http://www.civil-war.net/cw_images/files/images/298.jpg
But these photos are often made at the reunions of the union army.
Camberlain died in 1914 and this image looks quite elderly; this would not be possible as a real Brady image. Brady's Washington studio closed in 1881, New York in 1875, Putting this image before 1875, but his images were copied by Antony co. and reproduced for many years.

jnanian
09-28-2009, 08:48 AM
How?

The unidentified guy in the picture is a Major General, WH Beck only made Bigadier General (it says so on his tombstone)

hi galah,

yep, it wasn't him ...
but if you do advance aging techniques,
AND flip the image of beck that i linked to
the person has the same nose, eyes, hair, face and moustache ...


too bad i can't do a seance at major general george sears greene's gravesite and ask him
... he is buried down the road from me ...