2nd USSS at Falmouth, Circa 1862
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Author:  BrianTWhite [ Sun Jul 15, 2018 3:21 pm ]
Post subject:  2nd USSS at Falmouth, Circa 1862

I wanted to share a few more images from my Berdan's Sharpshooters collection. These were taken in the 2nd USSS camp outside of Falmouth, VA between May and August, 1862. Several other images in the series exist in private collections and can be identified by the scrub pines in the background. There are two variations of the pine setting and some images also include a flag draped over the canvas backdrop. So far I am aware of eleven such images of sharpshooters and two portraits of Bucktails, four companies of whom were camped adjacent to the 2nd USSS. The same photographer may have traveled into Falmouth proper to take a series of photos there, including one well known portrait of a guard detail of Co. F 2nd USSS standing in front of the residence of Eddy Brooks. The Brooks home served as the Co. F quarters at one point while they did three months of perpetual guard duty in town. The nearby plank and board Forbes home was also occupied by guards.

This unidentified soldier wears a dark green frock with brass buttons, green cap with plume, and sky blue trousers. Another man waiting for his portrait can be seen at lower left.

An unidentified member of Co. H 2nd USSS, denoted by his cap brass, with a fatigue blouse and Sharps rifle. The inclusion of his Sharps dates this to after mid-June 1862 when the regiment finally exhanged their Colt Revolving Rifles for Sharps rifles.

Another unidentified sharpshooter from an unknown company in a full dark green uniform, Sharps rifle, and leather leggings worn over canvas camp shoes. This is a post-war albumen made from the original tintype and as such is in the "right-read" orientation. It's possible that he was from Vermont due to the printer's location in Brattleboro.

Recently purchased as an unidentified soldier, upon removing the image from the case I found an ink inscription on the back reading "To Mary and Martha Harrington." Knowing this was an alternate view of the 2nd USSS Falmouth camp series, I researched possible soldier relatives to Mary and Martha Harrington. Although the ID is tentative, I believe this is Elisha Harrington, Co. H 2nd USSS, whose cousins Mary and Martha Harrington lived one county over near Windsor, Vermont. Martha also had a 3-year old daughter named Mary at the time this photo was taken in the spring or summer of 1862. Elisha stood 6'4" tall and had dark hair, gray eyes, and a light complexion. He enlisted in the winter of 1861 from Dorset, VT at the age of 26. Following the Gettysburg campaign Elisha was sent to a hospital and transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps in late September 1863. He was mustered out in 1865 and returned to Vermont where he died of unknown causes in 1870.

Finally we have the guard duty photo of Co. F 2nd USSS in front of the Brooks house that originally stood in the NE corner of modern day Route 1 and Warrenton Road. The house was demolished sometime in the 20th Century. From left to right are: Cyrus Farnum, William Spead William Beard, Leonard Spead, Amos Abbott, 1st Sgt. Horace Caldwell, Bugler Isaac Farnum, and Charles Applin (in shirt sleeves). This was taken prior to June 16th due to the inclusion of Colt Revolving Rifles. Half of the men wear canvas camp shoes. Courtesy of the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center.

Author:  maine [ Wed Aug 08, 2018 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: 2nd USSS at Falmouth, Circa 1862

Fabulous photos Brian. Thank you for sharing these with the rest of us. The information you provided with the photos is wonderful and helps expand on the sharpshooter story. Great detective work on your "tentative" ID of the Vermonter too. I did not realize that the canvas camp shoes were so popular with the USSS. Maybe a sutler was running a "special" on them at some point.

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