Sunday, September 22, 2013

Even More Zooming in on Dutch Gap, Virginia

This image of a bomb-proof shelter at Dutch Gap, Virginia is noted as being that of a Major Strong, 16th New York Artillery. The first time I saw it I assumed it was just a photograph of USCT soldiers at that location since there were a number of those regiments located there. But since it is noted as being a particular officer's quarters I suppose these men pictured are the officer's servants.

The man on the right side of the photograph sits on a ladder used to make repairs to the roof of the bomb-proof, which appears to be cut into the side of a hill. The bomb-proof has a wooden door, glass windows and a brick chimney, probably all scavenged from homes in the neighborhood. The man is dressed in a military shell jacket with piping on the cuffs, rolled trousers, and forage cap. His shoe soles appear to be caked with mud.

The man on the left side of the photograph sits on the hillside. He, too, wears what appears to be a shell jacket and trousers that may have a stripe visible on his right leg. A military cap shades his eyes. The shell jacket has sergeant's stripes, which if he is a servant seems quite strange. I would not think that a servant would be allowed to wear the insignia of a non-commissioned officer, then again maybe his officer employer thought it was humorous to have servant wear stripes. I'm not sure. A patch or medal of some kind that looks to be a starburst of some kind adorns the right breast of his jacket. Like his partner, his shoes seem to be muddy, and his socks are bunched up just over his shoe tops.

A pile of entrenching tools lay to the far left side of the photograph. A spade and a couple of picks probably came in handy building the bomb-proof quarters.

Image courtesy of the Library of Congress

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