A Confederate trooper wearing a hat with A star attached to the brim is armed to the teeth. He grasps an 1840-style Dragoon saber and a double-barrel shotgun. The revolvers tucked into his waist belt with two-piece plate appear to be Model 1851 Colt Navies. This photograph came out of the Cooper family of Tennessee. His uniform and star badge are remarkably similar to another photo of a cavalryman who served in the Independent Rebel Rangers of Union City, which became Company G of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry (Duckworth’s). One man with the surname Cooper served in Company G of Duckworth’s regiment: Pvt. K. Cooper.
Brandishing a Whitney style revolver, this Confederate is partially identified as Allen of the 3rd Texas Cavalry. Several Texas units include the designation “third” and “cavalry,” and a number of men have the surname Allen. According to Brendan Synnamon of the Union Drummer Boy in Gettysburg, Pa., “This image was from the personal collection of Jules Silverman of Brielle, N.J.” Synnamon adds, “that the image was part of the ‘Southrons’ Display, a traveling museum.”
This Confederate, probably a Virginian in his mid-teens, poses with a U.S. Model 1795 smoothbore flintlock musket. According to MI Contributing Editor Phil Spaugy, “I can make out the “Springfield” marking on the bottom edge of the lock plate. It appears to be slightly curved. which is a unique style of stamping used on M1795 Type I muskets manufactured before 1805. There are also some details of the flintlock ‘battery’ mechanism that are unique to early 1795’s.”
A note attached to this portrait holds that the freckle-faced Confederate soldier, with his hair tinted red by the photographer, was 16 years old and spent some of his service as a prisoner of war. An inscription in the emulsion appears to read F or H M Alexander.
The uniform he wears appears to be specific to Tennessee, observes MI Senior Editor Rick Brown, “All identified examples I have seen, including John A. Jenkins of the 7th Tennessee Cavalry (see page 33), have been early war Tennessee cavalry. An identified soldier published in Images of America Tennessee’s Confederates joined the McDonald Dragoons at the beginning of the war. This group became Company A of the 3rd Tennessee Cavalry. There are two other examples of soldiers wearing this uniform that I have seen that are unidentified. All are ninth-plate hard images.”
A union corporal in the foreground and four pards recreate a scene, perhaps from a patrol or other detail that put them in harm’s way. The artful arrangement of the men and their muskets is perhaps at the direction of the photographer.