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AfriGeneas Military Research Forum Archive

Photo ID

Can someone help me find where the photograph described below has been published? I've seen the image in at least two sources--most recently less than a year ago--but I can not recall where. At times senior moments overwhelm me.

The photo most likely dates from l866-69. It shows four black infantry soldiers: all holdidng muskets and I believe with bayonets fixed. The four "soldiers" are clearly not young. They are wearing what appears to be the army full dress uniform: long frock coat and the old style Jeff Davis hat; the one with the tall crown and wide brim that was usually pinned up on one side. The uniforms look like they don't fit very well and are clearly a bit worn and shabby.

For sure I do recall this about the photo: oversize and non-regulation regimental numbers are fixed on the front of each hat--the numbers are 38, 39, 40 and 4l--which are the regimental numbers of the four regular regiments of black infantry created by the Army Reorganization Act of l866. Overall my memory is that this is an image of a not too martial looking group.

I doubt if this photo of actual soldiers--rather I suspect this is a "gag" image from the time intended by someone (or some group) to ridicule black soldiers in general and in particuliar those within the army and Congress who favored the inclusion of blacks in the regular force.

Does anyone know this image--anything at all about it--and especially where it has been published/reproduced.


Tom Phillips
(601) 502-2241

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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