YOUNG BOY IN CONFEDERATE JACKET WITH WOOD BUTTONS

$250.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 1138-1998

In this image a very young boy wearing a Confederate jacket looks out at us. He is seated in a gothic style wood chair, sitting somewhat forward on the seat, perhaps in an effort to look larger. He wears civilian trousers woven with narrow vertical and horizontal lines, but his jacket is plainly military in style, gray, with short standing collar and six high-dome recessed-center wood buttons, a pocket low on what would be his left side and possibly his right as well. This is very close to the Richmond Type-III jacket, with the number of buttons reduced for his height, and pockets added. Of course, the jacket was widely copied and there were plenty of variations: Atlanta used six buttons; Columbus added a pocket, etc. The wood buttons are like those supplied to Richmond in the hundreds of thousands, but also used elsewhere on Confederate jackets.

Boys as young as fifteen, and perhaps younger, occasionally made their way into the ranks and it is always tempting to describe an image like this as showing a drummer-boy, but there are numerous images of northern boys imitating the uniforms of older brothers, fathers, male relatives and neighbors going off to war and there is every reason to think southern youngsters were doing the same. As with all such images, we can only hope those they admired returned and the war ended before they themselves had to find out how the reality of war differed from their imagination.

The image is a sixth-plate ambrotype, matted, glassed and framed. It is housed in an embossed leatherette case that needs the spine repaired. It comes from the collection of the late Bill Turner, noted Virginia collector and dealer, and likely has a Virginia origin. [sr] [ph:m]

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