TRIMMED ALBUMEN PHOTO OF LIEUTENANT WITH UNUSUAL BELT BUCKLE

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Item Code: 224-479

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Here is an albumen photograph that has been trimmed to fit into a family album. The image is of a Union lieutenant wearing his officer’s frock coat with first lieutenant straps. He has his saber in his lap and wears an unusual rectangular belt buckle.

The subject’s face is perfectly in focus and he sports a fine pair of mutton chops. Details have been color tinted. Very good tone and contrast to this image.

The unusual rectangular belt buckle features a mounted figure, most likely a dragoon. A similar image (oval mount, side table) features another lieutenant wearing the same buckle and is identified as a member of the 8th New York State Militia; see page 478 in “American Military Plates” by O’Donnell. Although trimmed, a small portion of the imprint remains on the reverse; “N.Y.” remains visible.

“The 8th NYSM left New York on the 23rd of April. The line of their march through the streets of New York was the scene of wild enthusiasm, and their friends gathering in balconies and windows, and cheering and inspiring the soldiers with their smiles and warm approvals. They proceeded to Annapolis, and thence to Washington, and were encamped at Arlington House, Virginia. The regiment was engaged in the battle of Bull Run, and served in the First brigade (Colonel Andrew Porter's), Second division (Colonel Hunter's). Colonel Porter makes honorable mention of the services of the Eighth New York Militia in his report.

Upon first entering service, the regiment remained at Annapolis until the 8th of May, when, accompanied by the 6th Massachusetts Militia, the whole under command of General Butler, they proceeded to the Relay House and took position commanding Railroad Bridge. On the 19th of May, a detachment of 600 men, under command of Lieutenant Colonel Waterbury and Major Wentworth, and a like detachment of the Sixth Massachusetts, under Colonel Jones, proceeded by railroad to Baltimore and took possession of Federal Hill, thus commanding that city; being the first troops to enter Baltimore after the riots. A few days afterwards, being relieved by Pennsylvania troops, the detachment returned to the Relay House, where the regiment remained until about the 8th of June, when it proceeded to Washington and went into camp at Kalorama, and remained there until troops were sent over into Virginia. The Eighth left Washington on the Sunday following, crossed the Long bridge, and taking possession of Arlington House, where it remained as guard to the headquarters of General McDowell, until the army moved to Bull Run.

The time of the regiment expiring on the 23rd (two days after the battle), they received orders for home, leaving on the 24th and arriving in New York on the 26th of July, where they met with an enthusiastic reception — Broadway was thronged, and vociferous cheers greeted them at every crossing.”

A clear soldier’s image featuring a rare belt buckle.  [jet]

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