One finds it difficult to discern whether the subject of this portrait is a soldier or a civilian. The pattern 1839 fatigue cap, worn at a jaunty angle, and the tongue and wreath belt plate partially concealed under his shirt, indicates a military connection. Upon first glance, the light-colored sack coat appears civilian in nature, though another daguerreotype of a man wearing a similar coat and belt suggests otherwise. “We might be looking at an unrecorded fatigue dress for maybe volunteer militia, cadet, or military school outfit,” notes Ron Field, who owns this image.
SPREAD THE WORD: We encourage you to share this story on social media and elsewhere to educate and raise awareness. If you wish to use any image on this page for another purpose, please request permission.
LEARN MORE about Military Images, America’s only magazine dedicated to showcasing, interpreting and preserving Civil War portrait photography.
VISIT OUR STORE to subscribe, renew a subscription, and more.