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The Spring 2024 Issue

Two years ago at the Chesapeake Postcard Fair & Civil War Photography Show in Havre de Grace, Md., I struck up a conversation with collector Jonathan Beasley. I soon learned that he focused on Maryland Civil War portrait photographs, and had images from the U.S. and C.S. armies and navies. It is unusual in my experience for a Maryland collector to have both sides represented equally. About 40 of these images are our cover story, Divided Maryland: Portraits and personal stories from the Jonathan Beasley Collection.

Our other features explore the history of the Civil War from very different angles. Ron Maness investigates the origin story of Confederate arms agent Caleb Huse. Another origin story, by Bret Schweinfurth, examines a series of General Orders issued over a three-month period in 1863 that established Invalid Detachments and the Invalid Corps, later to be known as Veteran Reserve Corps. The Brooklyn Service Medal, one of if not the first honor of this type in the United States after the war, is highlighted by Rick Leisenring. Elizabeth Topping’s concise history of mail order erotica, which tripled during the Civil War, is illustrated with an original catalog and examples of images.

You’ll also find a new addition to our lineup of columns: Women of War by Melissa A. Winn. Her inaugural subject is Marie Tepe, the vivandière popularly known as “French Mary.” Kurt Luther’s Photo Sleuth examines some early Virginia Tech cadet images. Adam Fleischer’s latest installment of Behind the Backdrop examines the Caribbean Plantation Backdrop of Providence, R.I. Material Culture is guest hosted by Ron Field, who traces the history of the dress and fatigue uniforms of the First Light Infantry of Providence. Ron also looks at a Scottish Highlander in Antebellum Warriors. Scott Valentine’s Vignette shares the story of an Ohio officer wounded at Fort Wagner and mortally wounded at Bermuda Hundred. Our other columns are all back: Military Anthropologist, Passing in Review, Most Hallowed Ground, The Honored Few, The Citizenry, Stragglers and the Last Shot.

Have feedback? I want to hear from you. Email, call 703-568-1616, or find me on Facebook and YouTube.


Ronald S. Coddington
Editor & Publisher

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