QUARTER-PLATE COLORED TINTYPE OF GENERAL JOHNSON HAGOOD

$3,750.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 846-361

This quarter-plate tintype was colored during the period to create a strong portrait of Confederate General Johnson Hagood (1829-1898.) Hagood is seated and shown from the waist up in his brigadier-general’s uniform. The artist has colored the background a light blue, almost aqua, and given his hair and face lifelike tones, touching the former with brushstrokes of brown, and adding thin flesh tones and red to his forehead and cheeks. He has colored his frock coat gray, added buff to the collar and cuffs and gilded his buttons, sleeve braid and the stars and wreath of his collar insignia. The sleeve braid is not neatly done, but is bold and the image is visually striking, matching the strong character of the sitter.

Hagood was born and died in Barnwell, South Carolina. In between he rose to brigadier general in the Confederate Army and governor of South Carolina. Raised in a planter family, he was educated at the South Carolina Military Academy (now the Citadel,) graduating with distinction in 1847. In addition to running his plantation, Hagood was admitted to the bar in 1850, and served as the Barnwell District’s “Commissioner in Equity,” a system paralleling civil courts, abolished in 1868.

Hagood continued his military experience after the Citadel with appointment as deputy adjutant general of the South Carolina militia in 1851 and was a brigadier general in the militia when the state passed the Ordinance of Secession. He was elected colonel of the First South Carolina Volunteers, was present for the attack on Fort Sumter, and then moved into the Confederate service, continuing as colonel of the regiment, and was at First Bull Run. He then returned to South Carolina to take part in the defense of Charleston Harbor, seeing action at Secessionville on James Island in June 1862 and being promoted to brigadier general, C.S.A., in July. He served under Beauregard and remained in the Charleston defenses, under repeated attack by Union forces, until mid-1864. He was then among the forces sent to Virginia in May as part of Hoke’s Division.

At Port Walthal Junction he pushed back Ben Butler’s initial advances at Bermuda Hundred. He had to pull back the next day, but soon after took part in the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff, which led to Beauregard bottling up Butler by erecting a defensive line across the neck of the peninsula. Hagood then joined Lee’s forces at Petersburg, serving some 67 days in the trenches and seeing his brigade reduced from some 2,200 to 700 men. At the Weldon Railroad in August, he reputedly ended a demand for the surrender of his men in the midst of the fighting by shooting a federal officer off his horse when the officer refused an offer to ride safely back to his lines if he would turn over a Confederate flag he had seized, though he supported the officer’s postwar application for a pension by supplying details of the incident.

In December 1864 Hagood was ordered to the defenses of Wilmington. After the fall of Fort Fisher in January he saw further fighting in delaying actions at Fort Anderson and Town Creek in February, then at the Second Battle of Kinston (Wyse Fork,) and at Bentonville. Hagood’s brigade surrendered with Johnston at Greensboro, but Hagood himself had been ordered by Johnston in late March to return to South Carolina in hopes of gathering men there to reinforce the army.

Hagood returned to his plantation after the war, and ran unsuccessfully for office in 1868 as the conservative Democratic ticket. In the 1870s he became more active in the efforts to thwart Reconstruction, supporting Wade Hampton’s campaign for governor and gaining election as comptroller general in 1876 and 1878, and then governor for a two-year term in 1880. He died in 1898, with some reputation for his views on scientific agriculture, and for his reopening of the Citadel in 1882. His memoirs were published in 1910.

The image is housed in a leatherette case embossed with geometric and floral motifs.  The hinge has been retaped, but the case is very good, and mat, glass and frame are in place. There are some rubs and spots to the plate, showing as dark spots to the left and right of the figure. “J. Hagood S.C.” in period script has been scratched into the upper margin of the plate, mostly hidden by the mat. The coloring is bold and vivid, creating a striking view of a significant South Carolina military and political figure.  [sr] [ph:L]

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