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Tag: Jefferson Davis

Facial Hair Friday: A bushy beard, a murder, and a missing arm

jefferson-c-davis

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis (ARC Identifier 529104)

Today’s Facial Hair Friday is not a case of mistaken identity. Jefferson Davis was arrested for murder.

But this Jefferson Davis was not the president of the Confederate States. This one was a Union officer, with nearly the same name. Jefferson Columbus Davis was a brigadier general in the Union Army when he shot and killed a superior officer, Maj. Gen. William Nelson, after an altercation at a hotel in Louisville, Kentucky.

Although Davis was arrested, he was never convicted, but instead was sent back into the Army.  Charges were never pressed against him. After the war, he continued with the Army as the first commander of the “Department of Alaska.”

But there is a question of identity for Jefferson C. Davis.

Gen. Davis appears again in a group photo, identified at the far left. His arm appears to have been amputated, but I can’t find any mention of the event where he was wounded. Is he the man on the far left, or is he the man standing, second from the right? The beards make it somewhat hard to tell. Or do any of our readers know what happened to Davis’s arm?

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, Gen. William B. Hazen, Gen. Oliver O. Howard, Gen. John A. Logan, Gen. William T. Sherman, Gen. Henry W. Slocum, ca. 1860-1865  (ARC Identifier 528426)

Gen. Jefferson C. Davis, Gen. William B. Hazen, Gen. Oliver O. Howard, Gen. John A. Logan, Gen. William T. Sherman, Gen. Henry W. Slocum, ca.

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Facial Hair Friday: Tribute to Mathew Brady

05-0922aWith his goatee and mustache, photographer Mathew Brady himself is an excellent addition to Facial Hair Fridays. In fact, he is the reason we have so many follicle follies to celebrate.

There are 6,066 photographs by Brady and his associates in the National Archives collections. Many of the images we’ve looked at and been inspired by come from Record Group 111, Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer. The negatives for these images were purchased for $2,840 by the War Department in 1874, when Brady’s fortunes had taken a turn for the worse, and he could not pay the bill to store them.

But before and during the Civil War, Brady was a successful and well-known photographer with several studios.

He also changed the way Americans viewed war. Although there are no action shots (the subjects had to be still, making it a process for the patient), the photographs of the battlefields, both before and after, and the wounded being operated on and recovering outside and in hospitals, made Americans see war as they never had before.

He and his associates in his studios photographed many famous civilians, including Abraham Lincoln, Jefferson Davis, Walt Whitman, and Clara Barton. There are also photographs of groups of officers, looking dapper [ Read all ]