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PostPosted: Mon Mar 16, 2009 9:48 pm 

Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:18 am
Posts: 162
I'm always scrutinizing the high resolution images made available by the Library of Congress. They've always helped me out with understanding the finer details of mid 19th Century army and civilian life, and they're just so incredible when it comes to providing close details. Tonight I had this idea to see if any of the LoC images were of Gen. David Birney and his staff. Two officers from the 2nd U.S.S.S., Ben Calef and William Shreve, who earlier served on Col. Berdan's staff after Hooker named him "Chief of Sharpshooters," were mentioned in a few letters and memoirs as having been on Birney's staff in late 1863 and into 1864. After a quick glance I found both of them in the same shot, in full dress uniform. This is a link to the information about the photograph itself, including the date it was taken, location, etc.. If you click on the thumbnail at the top it will take you to another page where you can select a TIFF or JPEG download. I suggest the "uncompressed archival TIFF" if you have a good internet connection simply for the detail you will see. Also, if you have any photo editing software (even MS Paint), doing a quick horizontal flip of the image will bring it to "right-read" alignment. This is the image itself in it's "uncompressed TIFF" format. This sucker is 20 megabytes so it may take a while to load.

Lt. Benjamin Calef is the second man from the left on the top row. He's glancing off to the side and has a beard. Lt. Shreve is the man in front of him with the waxed moustache and slight smirk. Both appear to be pretty well-dressed in tailored uniforms (as usual, when you see other war-time images...Shreve was a man of fashion it seems). Notice the enormous staff buttons and Calef's miniature shoulder straps, a style that was available during the war but not often seen.

Brian White
Wambaugh, White, & Company
Randolph Mess, U.S. Sharpshooters

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