The inscription scratched into the emulsion of this tintype notes the man with a whip posed for his portrait in Corinth, Miss., on July 23, 1862. Less than two months earlier, Union forces occupied the town at the end of a successful month-long siege. The whip suggests he worked as a federal teamster.
MI Senior Editor Rick Brown noticed that the handwriting style and the manner in which it was etched into the plate perfectly matches an image now in his collection which was originally published in our Summer 2015 issue.
Brown notes, “The outdoor image of the soldier and mule was produced two days after Brad’s image. The caption on my image includes the letter ‘L’ or ‘D’ as the first initial of Davis’ name.” He adds, “I have seen one other horizontal quarter-plate tintype taken outdoors that was unsigned by Davis, a view of the town just moved a little horizontally.”
Two revolver-packing Union troopers stand for their portrait, one casting a glance at the other. The man on the left carries an 1858 Remington-Beals in his belt and holds a Model 1840 Cavalry saber, known as “The Wrist-Breaker” for its heavy blade. The taller man has an 1851 Colt Navy tucked into his belt and grips what appears to be the same model saber as his pard. Both wear state issue jackets, distinguished by buttons that are spaced further apart than federal regulations.
A blue-jacket with sideburns that might make Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside envious poses in front of a backdrop featuring a scene on the deck of a ship—a common theme in sailor portraits.
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