In March 1862, Joseph C. White enlisted as a private in the Natchez Fencibles, a Mississippi militia company formed in Natchez, about 35 miles north of his home in Woodville. The Fencibles became Company B of the hard fighting 12th Mississippi Infantry, a regiment organized in Corinth, Miss. It is likely here that White posed for this portrait. The placard leaves no doubt about his loyalties. His artillery short sword and belt appear in other portraits of soldiers who posed with the “Jeff Davis and the South!” sign. They hailed from Mississippi and Louisiana and were stationed in Corinth early in the war. Soon after White joined the 12th, he was transferred to the regimental band. He survived his term of enlistment, but his post-war activities are not known.
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