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Re: Interesting Military Photo

Posted by Stephen B. McCartney on Thursday, 21 November 2013, at 5:13 p.m., in response to Re: Interesting Military Photo, posted by Ernie Brandt on Wednesday, 20 November 2013, at 11:06 p.m.

ERNEST, It probably was taken at Camp Chickamauga, aka Chickamauga Park (as it was the battlefield park, then operated by the army until the NPS was established in 1916)in 1898. Note that the uniforms are new and not tailored. These are young volunteers. Regulars tended to be older and more "worldly". By this, I mean they had a sense of pride. This attitude was best shown in a period illustration. A field equipped soldier, replying to the fair damsel (Gibson Girl) type, says (verbatim), "No ma'am, I'm not a glorious volunteer. Just a g-d Regular".

But I digress. The officer, complete with regulation 1895 officer boots, is probably the regimental quartermaster, or a junior officer at the company level. Both slots would be a lieutenant, judging from his youth. The senior nco, with the three tope bars (called "ties") over his chevrons, according to the 1879 regs for chevrons, is the quartermaster sergeant, in this case a regimental or post qm sergeant. The others, with one tie, are company or battalion quartermaster sgts. They wear the 1889 campaign hats and M1895 leggings. The buckets, folded tentage, spade and other items all show the "tools of the trade". The NCO sword is the model 1841, which, after 1873, was no longer issued to company sgts but was reserved for post sgts of the staff-qmd, commissary, hospital stewards and ordnance. It was popular in volunteer and militia units for all ncos.

This, in my opinion, is an interesting photo for the folks back home. These young men have had some responsibility thrust upon them, perhaps for the first time in their lives. They are proud and confident in the appearance. A sort of "Look, Mom and Dad! I am responsible, after all", picture of young men away from home for the first time. A most interesting photo.

STEPHEN


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