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Tag: Mathew Brady

Facial Hair Friday: Herman Haupt’s Success Proportional to the Size of His Beard

Today’s blog post comes from Hannah Fenster, summer intern in the Public Affairs Office of the National Archives.

Herman Haupt wasn’t hurting for hair.

Or confidence.

As General McCallum's assistant, Herman Haupt preferred being out in the field, and he worked magic in reconstructing bridges and keeping the trains running on time. (Cropped image,111-B-6161)

As General McCallum’s assistant, Herman Haupt preferred being out in the field, and he worked magic in reconstructing bridges and keeping the trains running on time. (Cropped image,111-B-6161)

The scruff that framed his face and eyes contributed to his imposing persona—which was so stubborn that he often refused the help of other people so he could accomplish a task more quickly.

The intense gaze radiating from under Haupt’s thick eyebrows analyzed many a difficult situation involving Northern railroad strategy and bridge reconstruction during the Civil War. One hundred and fifty years ago this month, from July 1 to July 3, 1863, Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg used Haupt’s refurbished Western Maryland Railroad to supply Gen. George G. Meade’s army.

Haupt only began assessing and controlling the situation on July 1—but he was the perfect choice to lead the effort.

Not only did he have a steely, goal-driven personality, but he had lived in the Gettysburg area in his younger pre-beard years, and he had been the chief engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad before his appointment as colonel. His familiarity with the geography and with the railroad business ensured that his transport system exceeded expectations in moving the … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: A Liberal Arts Education

Hon. Josiah B. Grinnell, Iowa, ca. 1860-1865 (ARC 526530)

Among our extensive collection of Mathew Brady photographs is this one of Josiah Bushnell Grinnell, whose sideburns appear to slide down his cheeks towards his cravat.

The Honorable J. B. Grinnell’s name may seem familiar if you have ever browsed college catalogs, or if you are an alum of Grinnell College, located in Grinnell, Iowa.

Although Grinnell was born in Vermont,  he packed up his sideburns and went West in 1854 to set up a Congregational church out in the wilds of the Iowa terrriroty. The town and college that he helped set up both bear his name.

After Iowa became a state, Grinnell served as a state senator and was a delegate to the Republican National Convention that nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. In 1862, Grinnell was elected to Congress.

Grinnell crossed paths with Horace Greely, whose neard has been featured on Facial Hair Friday before. Grinnell, along with “Liberal Republicans” and Democrats, supported  Greeley for President—presumably for political reasons rather than a shared love of sideburns.

Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau, ca. 1860-1865 (ARC 528580)

But not all was peaceful in the world of politics and facial hair. On June 14, 1866, Grinnell was assaulted by fellow Representative and sideburn-lover Gen. Lovell H. Rousseau. The Kentucky man beat the unarmed Grinnell with an iron-tipped cane after an incident on the House floor … [ Read all ]

Get your smartphone–we’re on SCVNGR!

Admiral Farragut wishes he had a smartphone to play the new Civil War trek on SCVNGR (ARC 529975).

We’re excited to announce that you can now play with historic records outside the National Archives Building!

The Foundation for the National Archives, the National Archives’ nonprofit partner, has partnered with mobile gaming company SCVNGR to build a game that lets you experience our historic records in the very places where their creators lived and worked.

Find Mathew Brady’s studio, see a now-disappeared canal, and learn about Civil War nicknames by downloading the SCVNGR app (pronounced “scavenger”) on your iPhone or Droid. Then follow the “trek” in an easy walk around the National Archives neighborhood, completing history challenges, earning points, and winning  rewards!

You can even complete certain challenges on the trek to win a special SCVNGR coupon to use for 15% off in our Gift Shop at the National Archives Building.

For more information on how to play, watch the “How to Play” video on http://www.scvngr.com/.

Happy trekking!… [ Read all ]

Rare photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg

The first photo discovered of Lincoln at Gettysburg

The first photo discovered of Lincoln at Gettysburg

In 1952, the chief of the Still Photo section at the National Archives, Josephine Cobb, discovered a glass plate negative taken by Mathew Brady of the speaker’s stand at Gettysburg on the day of its dedication as a National Cemetery. Edward Everett would speak from that stand later in the afternoon for two straight hours. Moments later, a tall, gaunt Abraham Lincoln would stand up and deliver a ten sentence speech in two minutes. It was the Gettysburg Address.

Lincoln delivered his famous speech 147 years ago today. His speech is revered as one of the greatest in American history, yet until Josephine Cobb looked closer at that Mathew Brady photo in 1952, it was thought that no photo existed of the Great Emancipator at Gettysburg on the day he delivered that address.

Based off the placement of people, the slight elevation of a few in the center left field of the photograph, and where the crowd was looking, Cobb bet that Lincoln would be in the photo. Photo enlargement later proved her theory true, making this the first–and possibly only–photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg.*

Cobb estimated that the photo was taken around noontime, before Edward Everett arrived, and about three hours before Lincoln delivered his famous address. Below is the original, uncropped photo.

The original uncropped photo of the speakers stand at Gettysburg

The original uncropped

[ Read all ]

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 ]