1865. Charleston, South Carolina. Archibald McLeish’s Vulcan Iron Works on Cumberland Street
Three Unidentified Soldiers Playing Cards, Smoking, And Drinking In Front Of American Flag
- Liquor- One soldier analyzed one issue of whiskey and with a straight face adjudged it to be a combination of “bark juice, tar-water, turpentine, brown sugar, lamp-oil and alcohol.” The potency of the liquor is readily evident from some of the nicknames given to it: “Old Red Eye,” “Rifle Knock-Knee,” “How Come You So,” and “Help Me to Sleep, Mother.”
- Gambling- “The temptations that will beset you will be very great,” a Mississippi man, already a veteran in the Civil War, warned his newly enlisted younger brother. The evil he warned of wasn’t treason or desertion or theft. It was cards. “Of all the evil practices that abound in Camp, gambling is the most pernicious and fraught with the most direful consequences.”
- Smoking-By the 1800’s, many people had begun using small amounts of tobacco. Some chewed it. Others smoked it occasionally in a pipe, or they hand-rolled a cigarette or cigar. On the average, people smoked about 40 cigarettes a year. The first commercial cigarettes were made in 1865 by Washington Duke on his 300-acre farm in Raleigh, North Carolina. His hand-rolled cigarettes were sold to soldiers at the end of the Civil War.
- PHOTO: Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print
- The life of Johnny Reb: The Common Soldier of the Confederacy by Bell Irvin Wiley
From the series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes
The Second Battle of Bull Run ended in defeat for Union forces under Major General John Pope by Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia on August 30, 1862, a little over a year after the first Battle of Bull Run in the same area.
Seeking a brother’s release
In this letter to the Union commander of the prisoner-of-war camp at Point Lookout, Maryland, one of four sisters asks the commander to release their brother. Writing on August 11, 1864, from Marietta, Ohio, Lou A. Briggs asks the commander to have pity as they were orphans and cannot “get along without him.” One sister was sick with consumption, she wrote, and “desires very much to see her brother once more in this world.”
Letter from Lou A. Briggs to the Commander of Point Lookout Military Prison Regarding Rufus Briggs, 08/11/1864
From the series Personal Letters to Confederate Prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland, 1889 - 1904
Charles Longfellow- Son Of Poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
In 1863, he ran off to enlist as a private in the Union Army during the Civil War, and eventually received a commission as a lieutenant in a cavalry regiment. Miraculously, he survived a bout with malaria and what could have been a mortal gun shot wound to his back, which he received while on campaign in Virginia. The bullet traveled across his back, nicked his spine, and exited under his right shoulder. He missed being paralyzed by less than an inch.
He knew his father disapproved of him fighting, but went anyway. He wrote a letter to his father saying, “I have tried to resist the temptation of going without your leave but cannot any longer.”
Charles Longfellow went on to become one of the earliest American tourists in Japan. His journal offers a rare picture of the Asian nation opening up to the world after centuries of isolation. Charles was independently wealthy with inheritances from his grandfather, Nathan Appleton and his mother, and spent the rest of his life traveling the world. He died in 1893, in Cambridge from pneumonia and is buried in the family vault in Mt. Auburn Cemetery. The souvenirs of his travels and his uniforms and accoutrements from his service in the Union Army are at Longfellow House in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
A group of Union soldiers from the 12th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry Regiment posing in front of two photography studios at Point Lookout, Maryland.
A Union soldier from the 31st Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment posing with his family in front of a tent near Fort Slocum in Washington, D.C., 1861. Animated stereoscopic photographs.
[Unidentified soldier with amputated arm in Union uniform in front of painted backdrop showing cannon and cannonballs] (LOC) (by The Library of Congress)