This soldier in the 5th New York Infantry, better known as Duryée’s Zouaves for its commander, Col. Abram Duryée, apparently liked his portrait enough to have it tinted by a colorist.
A soldier believed to be in the Trans-Mississippi theater posed for this likeness early in the war. Note the generous dark trim on his cuffs, pocket, shoulder, and front placket with small buttons. The collar of his overshirt is turned down. His name and regiment are currently lost in time.
These portraits of brothers Eli and William Harris have been in possession of their family since they posed for them. Born in Dorset, England, they immigrated to the U.S. during their youth.
Younger brother Eli R. Harris (1847-1878) enlisted in Company I of the 88th Ohio Infantry at age 16 on Independence Day 1863. He and his comrades spent their service at Camp Chase, Ohio, guarding Confederate prisoners of war.
Older brother William Harris (about 1839-1864) went to war for his adopted country in April 1861 when he joined the 21st Ohio Infantry for a three-month term. He and his fellow Buckeyes participated in the Western Virginia Campaign, and fought in the July 17, 1861, Battle of Scary Creek against Confederates commanded by Col. George S. Patton, grandfather of the renowned World War II general.
After William’s enlistment ended, he returned to farming until November 1861, when he joined the 65th Ohio Infantry. Promoted to corporal soon after he mustered into Company K, he advanced to sergeant in May 1863. He fought in the numerous battles and campaigns, including Shiloh, Corinth, Stones River, the Tullahoma Campaign, Chickamauga, Chattanooga and Missionary Ridge, where the 65th was one of the first regiments to summit the ridge—and almost capture Gen. Braxton Bragg.
In early 1864, William went home to Ohio on furlough and sat for this portrait. Months later, on May 14, 1864, he was killed in action at the Battle of Resaca. His remains rest in Chattanooga National Cemetery.
Two more Harris brothers served in the war. Corporal George D. Harris of the 49th Ohio Infantry was captured at Stones River and sent to Libby Prison, eventually being paroled, and discharged in 1864. Private Albert Harris also served in the 49th. He was killed at the Battle of Pickett’s Mill, Ga., on May 27, 1864—less than two weeks after William died at Resaca.
No wartime portraits have yet been found of George or Albert.
A member of New York City’s Knickerbocker elite, Philip Mesier Lydig graduated from Columbia Law School in 1861. According to a family genealogist, “the Civil War changed the tenor of his life.” In 1862, he entered the army as a captain and aide-de-camp, serving for much of the rest of the war on the staff of Maj. Gen. John G. Parke, and briefly to Maj. Gen. Ambrose E. Burnside. Lydig participated in numerous operations, including Burnside’s North Carolina Campaign, the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg, the Siege of Vicksburg, and the Overland Campaign. He ended his service as a major. Lydig served on the 1863 court martial of Clement L. Vallandigham in 1863, which found the anti-war Democratic Congressman guilty of publicly expressing “sympathy for those in arms against the Government of the United States, and declaring disloyal sentiments and opinions, with the object and purpose of weakening the power of the Government in its efforts to suppress an unlawful rebellion.” Lydig barely survived the war, dying in 1868 at about age 31.
Troopers engage in a mock confrontation, one on his horse with a drawn saber and the other on foot pointing a revolver. Two pards lay behind them, soaking up the scene.
A Union navy ensign wears the uniform style prescribed by regulations from Jan. 29, 1864, to Dec. 31, 1865.
A member of the 9th New York Infantry, familiarly known as Hawkins’ Zouaves after its colonel, Rush C. Hawkins, posed for this portrait in a New York City photo gallery. A period ink inscription on the back of the mount identified him only as Johnson. A total of nine men with this surname served in the regiment.
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