Brandishing a Model 1842 musket and 1851 Colt Navy revolver, Mims Walker posed for this portrait, above, wearing an uniquely trimmed over-shirt. He is also pictured in another view, right. Walker marched in the first wave of Southern men to join the military as a private in the Canebreak Rifle Guards, a militia company named for the region of west central Alabama where he had settled with his family from his native Georgia. The Guards became Company D of the 4th Alabama Infantry. Walker was present for duty at the First Battle of Manassas, where the 4th suffered heavy casualties during the turning point of the engagement under the direct leadership of Brig. Gen. Bernard Bee.
The following year, during the battles of Gaines’ Mill and Malvern Hill, Walker was detailed as a courier to colonel Evander M. Law. A few months later, Law advanced to brigadier general and brigade commander. Walker continued his duties as a courier, serving at Fredericksburg, Gettysburg, Chickamauga, Chattanooga and elsewhere. In June 1864, he received a promotion to first lieutenant and aide-de-camp on Law’s staff, and served in this capacity through the war’s end.
Walker returned to his home in Uniontown, Ala., where he became a prominent civic and business leader and a state legislator. He lived until 1903, dying at age 64. His wife, Mary, and five children survived him.
Trooper James Madison Crozer of the 6th Kentucky Cavalry managed to escape Union forces that ambushed him and the rest of Gen. John Hunt Morgan’s raiders at Buffington Island, Ohio, on July 19, 1863. The defeated Confederates turned south for the Confederacy. The adjutant of the 6th reported what happened next.
“The march was kept up all night long and until about three o’clock in the afternoon of the next day, when a considerable pursuing force of the enemy appeared in sight. The Sixth Regiment was the rear guard of the column and by repeated skirmishes kept the enemy in check until we came near the town of Cheshire, on the banks of the Ohio River. By that time the advance with General Morgan was several miles away. We hoped he was safe. Our aim had been to afford him a chance to get out of reach of the pursuing enemy. We then made our last stand but were run over and captured by the superior force of the enemy.”
Morgan surrendered six days later.
Crozer spent much of the rest of the war in prison, the first month at Camp Chase in Columbus followed by Camp Douglas in Chicago. Exchanged in March 1865, he eventually signed the oath of allegiance to the federal government and returned to Kentucky, where he lived until his death in 1907.
Red coats were not a popular choice during the antebellum or Civil War periods, perhaps due to the unpleasantness of the previous century that resulted in independence from British rule. But there were exceptions, as evidenced by this soldier. His coat features dark trim and white shoulder wings. His origins are unclear. MI Contributing Editor Mike Cunningham notes, “The soldier’s grooming, both in terms of his hair length and nutrition also are consistent with a Southern origin. Of course, none of that excludes the possibility that the soldier comes from a rural Northern county.”
Maj. William McIntosh Arnold of the 6th Georgia Infantry requested a 20-day leave on Dec. 7, 1863, to visit his family. His reason: “Since my connection with the Army May 27th 1861 I have never been absent from my command on leave of indulgence nor have I ever asked a leave of absence. Only twice have I been away during that period, and then from wounds received in battle.” The wounds occurred at Antietam, where he fell into enemy hands and spent a few weeks as a prisoner of war, and at Chancellorsville, where he suffered injuries to an arm and right lung.
Confederate authorities approved Arnold’s request the same day. He spent Christmas with his family in Sparta, Ga., and returned to the 6th about the start of the New Year. Seven months later, on July 7, 1864, he suffered a third and fatal wound of the war in the trenches of Petersburg. According to a report in the Daily Confederate newspaper, Arnold suffered instant death from an artillery shell. “The missile exploded near him, one of the fragments striking him in the abdomen and nearly severing the body.” The writer added that Arnold was deeply respected by his comrades as a skillful and fearless leader.
A non-commissioned Union officer posed for this portrait before an elaborately painted backdrop, featuring a city square tucked into a mountain landscape and fronted by a harbor. The image is finely colored, though the heavy tinting of his chevrons and buttons obscures details—a common feature of hard-plate photographs from the war period.
The bold vest worn by Sgt. James Monroe Vose distracts from his jacket, which indicates his service in the Veteran Reserve Corps. Vose modified his standard jacket with custom trim. A New York native who moved to the Upper Midwest with his family before the war, Vose began his service in 1861 with the 2nd Michigan Cavalry, and moved to the 23rd VRC in early 1864. This regiment participated in various duties in Wisconsin, Minnesota, Missouri, Kentucky and Iowa. Vose survived the war and lived until 1903.
The star-shaped badge of the 12th or 20th Corps pinned to the frock coat of this Union soldier does double duty as a pin to secure his watch chain. Note the SNY waist belt plate that marks him as an Empire State volunteer. The backdrop was common to images of identified soldiers photographed in the Fredericksburg, Va., area.