Pipe-smoking, baby-faced Sergeant

Guest blogpost: Ron Coddington | Publisher of Military Images Magazine

PIPE-SMOKING, BABY-FACED SERGEANT.—This freckle-faced unidentified youngster seems impossibly young to be a soldier. But collector and author Mike Cunningham is convinced that he is, and notes, “He has the smooth skin of a teenager, but the tired and wary eyes of a veteran campaigner.”

Mike’s observations about the sergeant’s uniform supports his conclusion. “He is wearing a standard Federal issue 1858 pattern fatigue blouse that appears to be hand sewn in places. That is the reason that interior pocket does not follow the familiar kidney shape. A curve is easy to execute with a sewing machine, but awkward when sewing by hand.” The pants and the overcoat also appear to be standard.

He appears to be carrying something in that blouse pocket—perhaps a satchel of tobacco for that pipe!

A folded-up newspaper article that accompanies the image dates to about 1868. The subject of the article is Rev. Albert Barnes, who was fairly well known for his abolitionist views during the war. How the article and the photo are connected is a mystery.

The photographer is Frank Rowell of Providence, R.I.

Ready to go beyond the complimentary posts you enjoy here? Consider a subscription to Military Images, America’s only magazine solely dedicated to portrait photography, personal stories and material culture of the Civil War. Take advantage of MI’s special introductory offer for new subscribers only—$19.95 for an annual subscription of four quarterly issues, $5 off the regular price: http://militaryimagesmagazine.com/special-offer/
Act now and get a recent back issue as a thank you gift!
Intrigued, but not ready to commit? Sign up for a free trial: http://militaryimagesmagazine.com/subscribe

Image may contain: 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s