Civil War

New to the Collection: Odd Fellows Gavel

 2014_036DP2DBBy 1900, over 250 fraternal groups existed in the United States numbering six million members.  To fully understand and appreciate Freemasonry in America, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library collects objects and documents associated with all types of fraternal organizations.  Many of these groups were inspired by Freemasonry and adopted similar structures and rituals.  We recently acquired this carved gavel with the three-link chain symbol of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows.  The gavel represents fifty years of American history.  An inscription on the head of the gavel reads “Presented to Grant Lodge No. 335 by H.W. Swank Lookout Mtn. April 29, 1914.”

In November 1863, Lookout Mountain, near Chattanooga, Tennessee, was the site of the Civil War’s “battle above the clouds.”  Under the leadership of General Ulysses S. Grant (1822-1885), the Union Army was able to attack the Confederate troops who occupied the mountain and drive them away.  The following day the Union forces continued to Missionary Ridge and broke the Confederate lines around Chattanooga.  Unfortunately, H.W. Swank’s connection to Lookout Mountain is unknown.  Was he one of the soldiers that fought in that battle?  Did he have a relative that fought there?  Did he just enjoy the natural beauty of the site?  The mountain continued to be a tourist destination, as shown in this cabinet card from the Museum’s collection.  During the late 1800s and early 1900s, Americans began to visit Civil War sites as they healed from the war and remembered those who were lost there. 85_80_29DS2

Originally founded in England in 1745, the American branch of the Odd Fellows was organized in Baltimore in 1819 by Thomas Wildey (1782-1861).  The group took several cues from Freemasonry – they share some symbols, as well as the three-degree structure for initiation, although the specific rituals are different.  Presumably, Swank was a member of Grant Lodge No. 335, which was located in Redkey, Indiana, a town about halfway between Indianapolis and Fort Wayne.  Thirteen members instituted Grant Lodge No. 335 in Redkey in September 1869.  According to a 1922 local history, Oddfellowship “prospered in Jay county [where Redkey was located] and…several lodges are reported to be doing well.”

The gavel is currently [September 2014] on view in our lobby as part of a changing display of recent acquisitions.  Consider coming by to see it – or leave us a comment below about whether you have been to Lookout Mountain!

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Gavel, 1914, Tennessee, Museum purchase, 2014.036.  Photograph by David Bohl.

Unidentified Group at Lookout Mountain, 1870-1920, J.B. Linn, Tennessee, gift of the Supreme Council, 33°, Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA, 85.80.29.


A Fife with Two Owners: Part of “Prized Relics: Historic Souvenirs from the Collection”

Fife 83_28_2DP1DBOpening June 14, 2014 at the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, the exhibition “Prized Relics:  Historic Souvenirs from the Collection” will examine different kinds of relics from homes and families, travels, historic sites and Masonic lodges and the ways these preserved fragments can help us understand the past.  

In preparing for this exhibition, museum staff had the opportunity to examine some underexplored objects in our collection.  One that captured my imagination was this small brown fife, pictured at the left, used to make music during the Civil War.  Curatorial records note that this fife belonged to Joseph Warren Batchelder (1842-1926) of New Hampshire.  In looking at the fife, it is easy to see Batchelder’s initials incised onto the body of the instrument, along with place names and dates. The simple shapes of the letters forming the inscriptions on the instrument, as well as the cramped spacing of information incised onto the fife’s body, suggest that the various inscriptions were recorded on the fife by its owner, perhaps over a few years. 

Research supports the story that came with the fife when it entered the collection. Enlistment records show that Private Joseph W. Batchelder of Manchester, New Hampshire, joined the 10th New Hampshire Regiment on August 11, 1862, and served in Company A. In 1864 he earned promotion to the rank of Principal Musician.  On his fife, Batchelder incised the names of some of the different places he traveled to and battles he fought in with his regiment including the Battle of Fredericksburg [Virginia] in 1862; the Siege of Suffolk [Virginia] in 1863; and the Battle of Drewry’s Bluff [Virginia] and Cold Harbor, Virginia, in 1864; and Richmond, Virginia, in 1865. 

In an effort to read the inscriptions on the fife more clearly, I took a look underneath the pewter mouthpiece that had been loosely attached to it and noticed a second, smaller set of notes scratched into the fife’s surface by “M. T. T.”   This record-keeper also noted the letters NYSV (or NY2V) along with the places and dates, Binghamton, New York, 1861, and New Berne, North Carolina, 1862.  A quick look at the Civil War enlistment records turned up a likely candidate as the inscriber--Milton T. Tyrell (b. 1839) of Canton, New York.  He had joined the 103rd New York Infantry, Company I as a musician in January, 1861, at Elmira, New York.  A regimental history included a short biography of Tyrell and mentioned that when he became a member of the regiment, he:  “entered into the spirit of the soldier, drilling in squad drill with the boys…as well as practicing the army calls with fife and drum.” 

Finding that two men marked their names on this fife prompts the question, how did Tyrell’s fife become Batchelder’s fife?  Histories of the 10th New Hampshire Regiment and the 103rd New York Infantry tell us that both Tyrell’s and Batchelder’s regiments traveled to Washington, D. C. in the fall of 1862.  Was the fife lost, sold, traded or stolen in that city?  We may never know how the fife changed hands, but this intriguing object offers us a glimpse into how two men recorded and remembered their war experiences. 

Photo credit:

Fife, ca. 1861. United States. Gift of George P. Wadsworth, 83.28.2.  Photograph by David Bohl. 

Reference:

History and Personal Sketches of Company I, 103, N. Y. S. V., 1862-1864 (Elmira, New York:  The Facts Printing Co., 1900).


Three Civil War Lectures Now Available Online!

Tony Horwitz 3-12 012We've come to the end of our two-year lecture series marking the sesquicentennial of the Civil War. Through the generous support of Ruby W. Linn and the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation, we were able to mount nine fantastic talks by scholars of the Civil War. Our speakers brought us closer to wartime experience and the meaning people drew from it, as well as the larger context of the war in 19th-century America. In 2012 and 2103, hundreds of people came to see them. To see who the speakers were, click here for our posts about the talks - and be sure not to miss the second page!

If you were unable to attend these lectures, or you'd like to relive them, we can help. Here are recordings of the three fall 2013 Civil War lectures, given by scholars at the forefront of their research fields. The topics are diverse and represent different perspectives on the military and Copperhead Party_LOC_croppedsocial conflicts the United States struggled through, so one of them is likely to strike your fancy. Each video is about 50 minutes long.

Nicole Etcheson (Ball State University), The Anti-Civil War Movement in the North: Copperheads in a Midwestern Community, 1861-1865

LMAIllustrationJane Schultz (Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis), A Season with the Army: Civil War Nurse Harriet Eaton and New England's Role in Medical Relief Work 

Robert Weible (Chief Curator of the New York State Museum and New York State Historian), Not that this is Going to Be a Real War: The Civil War, the Marshall House Flag, and Elmer Ellsworth’s Martyrdom. This segment integrates a special treat - a piece on the conservation of the Marshall House Flag, a huge Confederate banner captured by Ellsworth Envelope_croppedthe first Union officer to fall in the Civil War. The video comes courtesy of New York State Military Museum

To read more about the talks, you can refer to our blog posts about the Etcheson, Schultz, and Weible presentations. We thank our friends at Lexington's community access station, LexMedia, for recording, editing, and posting all three talks.

Stay tuned for the next Museum lecture series, coming in spring 2014. Check our programs page for a preview.

Image credits:

Tony Horwitz speaking before a crowd of over 300 at the Maxwell Auditorium, March 2012.

The copperhead party - in favor of a vigorous prosecution of peace! Illus. in: Harper's weekly, February 28, 1863. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-132749.

Frontispiece illustration for: Louisa M. Alcott. Hospital Sketches and Camp and Fireside Stories. Boston: Roberts Bros., 1869. 

E.E. Ellsworth, late colonel of N.Y Fire Zouaves, c. 1861. E. & H.T. Anthony, New York. LC-DIG-ppmsca-08357.  Library of Congress.


New to the Collection: An Odd Fellows Minute Book from Civil War Era

IOOF Minute Book_web version_2The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library recently acquired an Odd Fellows minute book, from Hopewell Lodge No. 504, dating from 1854 through 1880.  It offers clues as to how the Civil War affected this fraternal organization. 

The decades preceding and after the Civil War were times of enormous growth for the Odd Fellows.  However, during the Civil War, Odd Fellow membership decreased as men put on their military uniforms and set out to serve the Union or the Confederacy.  

According to Stillson's Official History of Odd Fellowship..., in 1861, there was a proposal to form a Grand Lodge of IOOF of the Southern Confederacy.  However, a division of the fraternal order never officially occurred. The representatives from the Southern states just did not attend the annual meeting of the Grand Lodge of the United States which was held in Baltimore in 1861.  They were absent again from the 1862 and 1863 sessions in Baltimore and from the session in Boston in 1864.  In 1865, at the close of the Civil War, the Northern and Southern representatives of the Odd Fellows met in Baltimore to formally reunite this organization and members from all but two Southern states were present.  The Odd Fellows were the first fraternal organization to reunite.

Many Odd Fellows lodges went dark, or became inactive, during the war.  Hopewell Lodge No. 504, meeting in West Middletown and Claysville,  and located in Washington county, in western Pennsylvania, is a good example of this. During 1854-1858, the Hopewell Lodge No. 504 accepted applications for many members each meeting and held initiations. 

Then there is are large gap in the minutes for this lodge from May 17, 1862 to  April 22,1872.  This spanned the time of the Civil War (1861-1865) and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era (1863-1877).  According to Boyd Crumrine's History of Washington County, Pennsylvania:  With Biographical Sketches of Many of its Prominent Men and Pioneers, men from this area of Pennsylvania signed up with the Union army immediately and their participation was greater than any other county in the state or in the Union.  The governor held a special state meeting emphasizing that Pennsylvania was particularly vulnerable having a border on the Mason-Dixon line.  Perhaps this explains the high participation rates from Washington County and Pennsylvania in general. 

On April 22, 1872, the minutes resumed and there was "a Petition for the Restoration of the Charter of Hopewell Lodge No. 504" (pictured above).  This suggests that the lodge had gone dark during the Civil War. According to the minutes there was a joint meeting between the Grand Lodge of IOOF and Hopewell Lodge No. 504 during which the petition to restore the charter was accepted and the lodge reopened.  The lodge elected new officers including Thomas A. Bartilson (1816-1906) as Noble Grand.   Other officers included:  P. A. McReath (Vice Grand), Thomas Irvin (Secretary), Allison DeFrance (Financial Secretary), and David McCune (Treasurer).   

Caption:

Independent Order of Odd Fellows Minute Book, 1854-1880.  Scottish Rite Masonic Museum and Library, A2013/25/1.

For Further Reading:

Halleran, Michael A. The Better Angels of Our Nature. Tuscaloosa:  University of Alabama Press, 2010.

Skocpol, Theda, Ariane Liazos, and Marshall Ganz.  What a Mighty  Power We Can Be:  African American Fraternal Groups and the Struggle for Racial Equality.  Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2006.

Stillson, Henry Leonard.  The Official History of Odd Fellowship:  The Three-Link Fraternity.  Boston:  The Fraternity Publishing Company, 1914.

 

 

 


Lecture: A Civil War Cause Celebre - The Union's First Martyr and a Confederate Flag, 11/9

Ellsworth Envelope_croppedJoin us on Saturday, November 9, at 2 PM for the last lecture in our two-year series marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Robert Weible, Chief Curator of the New York State Museum and New York State Historian will explore a key event at the beginning of the war between the states, the death of Union officer Elmer Ellsworth. Weible's talk, entitled 'Not that this is Going to Be Real War': The Civil War, the Marshall House Flag, and Elmer Ellsworth's Martrydom, will trace the meaning of this gripping event for contemporaries on both sides of the Mason-Dixson line.

Ellsworth was killed by a seccessionist Virginian in a face-to-face confrontation over whether an outsized Confederate national flag would continue to fly over the city of Alexandria. Supporters of both the Northern and the Southern causes saw trenchant symbolism in this event, which was framed as a martyrdom in Northern newspapers and popular magazines. Weible will also speak on the story of the massive, 14- by 24-foot flag itself, now held by the New York State Military Museum and exhibited at the New York State Museum in conjunction with its current Civil War exhibition. The talk is free, thanks to the generous support of the Ruby W. Linn and LaVonn P. Linn Foundation

On April 12, 1861, Confederate artillery opened fire on Fort Sumter, located in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. The fort was occupied by Federal troops, asserting Union presence and authority in South Carolina, which was one of the first seven states to have seceeded from the Union. Decades of growing strife between northern and southern states now erupted in civil war. Only a few weeks later, Union troops streamed into Northern Virginia, among them Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and his 11th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, known as the First Fire Zouaves.

MarshallHouseEllsworth met his fate just after his twenty-fourth birthday in the Virginian city of Alexandria, at the Marshall House Hotel. This building had a particularly long flagpole, and on it flew the Confederate colors - which could be seen from the White House in Washington, D.C. Ellsworth took a small party of soldiers on a mission to cut down the offending flag. The Marshall House innkeeper, James Jackson, was not about to let the extremely large "stars and bars" seccessionist flag be destroyed. The dramatic confrontation that ensued resulted in Ellsworth's death at Jackson's hand. The first Union officer killed in the war between the states became a martyr for the federal cause and an arch-villain in Confederate eyes. Newspapers and popular magazines on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line proclaimed to their readers the significance of the Marshall House flag and the death of Ellsworth.

Robert Weible is a well-known public historian and former president of the National Council for Public History who has held key positions in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York. He is familiar to many in the Boston area as the first historian at Lowell National Historical Park. He has also served as Director of Public History for the State Museum of Pennsylvania, Acting Director of the Pennsylvania State Archives, and Chief of the Division of History for the Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission. Educators and scholars will know him as a former grants director for Teaching American History and National Endowment for the Humanities.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559. www.monh.org.

Image credits:

E.E. Ellsworth, late colonel of N.Y Fire Zouaves, c. 1861. E. & H.T. Anthony, New York. LC-DIG-ppmsca-08357. Library of Congress.

[Alexandria, Va. The Marshall House, King and Pitt Streets], [Between 1860 and 1865]. LC-B8171-2294. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.

 

 

 

 


Lecture - A Season with the Army: Civil War Nurse Harriet Eaton, 10/26

Continuing our fall series of Civil War lectures, at 2 PM on Saturday, October 26, we welcome to the Museum Jane Schultz, Professor of English, American Studies, and Women’s Studies at Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis. Her topic will be "A Season with the Army: Civil War Nurse Harriet Eaton and New England’s Role in Medical Relief Work," based on her 2010 scholarly edition, This Birth Place of Souls: The Civil War Nursing Diary of Harriet Eaton. Admission is free, thanks to the generous support of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

Schultz2012Jane Schultz, the nation’s expert on Civil War nursing, will discuss a New England woman’s critical role on the battlefields of Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. Harriet Eaton was born as Harriet Hope Agnes Bacon in 1818 in Newton, MA. Her marriage to Baptist minister Jeremiah Sewall Eaton was followed by relocation to Portland, ME, where her husband led the Free Street Baptist Church. She was one of the first volunteers to enlist in the Maine Camp Hospital Association, an aid organization established by the church in October of 1862, in the wake of the Battle of Antietam. One of a handful of women who served as regimental nurses, she led a transient existence, roving the field hospitals that grew as battles raged.

CityPointHospitalHarriet Eaton’s diary and papers offer insight into the experience of the twenty-one thousand women who served in Union military hospitals. Her uncensored nursing diary is a rarity among medical accounts of the war, showing the diarist to be an astute observer of human nature. She struggled with the disruptions of transience, scarcely sleeping in the same place twice, but found the politics of daily toil even more challenging. Though Eaton praised some of the surgeons with whom she worked, she labeled others charlatans whose neglect had deadly implications for the rank and file. If she saw villainy in her medical colleagues, she also saw her service as an opportunity to convert the soldiers who were her patients. The diary stands in contrast to accounts of women's hospital work published as post-war memoirs, which were often carefully crafted narratives attentive to conventions of propriety and commemorative practice.

Jane Schultz is also the author of Women at the Front: Hospital Workers in Civil War America (2004). In that work, she shows that women war workers during the Civil War era were not all white and middle class. Women without middle-class advantages and African-American women also served as hospital workers, though women like Harriet Eaton left a stronger paper trail. On one hand, women of middle-class origin had to struggle against the belief that nursing wounded soldiers was an improper role because it exposed them to so many men and so much horror. On the other, they showed themselves eager to maintain race and class boundaries between themselves and the other women around them.

Schultz will be available after the talk to sign her book This Birth Place of Souls: The Civil War Nursing Diary of Harriet Eaton.
 
The final lecture in the series is:

"'Not that this is Going to Be a Real War': The Civil War, the Marshall House Flag, and Elmer Ellsworth’s Martyrdom" by Robert Weible, State Historian, Chief Curator, New York State Museum on Saturday, November 9, 2:00 pm.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559. www.monh.org.

Image credits:

Courtesy of Jane Schultz.

Field hospital near City Point, Va. (1861-1865). NYPL Wallach Division: Photography Collection. Digital ID: 114682.


Lecture: The Civil War in a Northern Community, 10/5

Civil War lectures return to the Museum for fall 2013! The next presentation will be on October 5, 2013 at 2pm, when we welcome Professor Nicole Etcheson of Ball State University. She will speak on "The Anti-Civil War Movement in the North: Copperheads in a Midwestern Community, 1861-1865." Admission is free, thanks to the generous support of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

Copperhead Party_LOC_croppedCopperheads, anti-war Democrats, protested against the policies of the Lincoln administration, opposed emancipation and resisted the draft with violence. Were the Copperheads expressing sentiments that mirrored concerns of their fellow citizens? Did they actually aid the Confederacy?

Nicole 2011Nicole Etcheson is the Alexander M. Bracken Professor of History at Ball State University. She is the author of A Generation at War: The Civil War Era in a Northern Community, which won the 2012 Avery O. Craven Award from the Organization of American Historians; Bleeding Kansas (2004); and The Emerging Midwest (1996). She is currently working on a project about suffrage in the post-Civil War era.

Join us earlier in the day on Saturday, October 5, for a 1:00 pm free gallery talk in "A Sublime Brotherhood:  200 Years of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction." Aimee E. Newell, the Museum's Director of Collections and curator of the exhibition, will share her knowledge of the Scottish Rite's French roots, its founding in America two centuries ago and its evolution into one of the most popular American fraternal groups during the 1900s. The exhibition includes photos, costumes, and other Scottish Rite materials, many of which have never previously been on view.

The final lectures in this series, with which the Museum is marking the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, are:

"A Season with the Army: Civil War Nurse Harriet Eaton and New England's Role in Medical Relief Work," by Jane Schultz, Professor of English and American Studies, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis on Saturday, October 26, at 2:00 pm;

and "'Not that this is Going to Be a Real War': The Civil War, the Marshall House Flag, and Elmer Ellsworth’s Martyrdom" by Robert Weible, State Historian, Chief Curator, New York State Museum on Saturday, November 9, 2:00 pm.

For further information, contact the Museum at (781) 861-6559. www.monh.org

Image credits:

The copperhead party - in favor of a vigorous prosecution of peace! Illus. in: Harper's weekly, February 28, 1863. Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, LC-USZ62-132749.

Courtesy Nicole Etcheson.


Civil War Photography on the Battlefront and Home Front : : May 4 at 2 p.m.

AWLee_PublicityPhoto_smOur 2013 Civil War Lecture Series continues this weekend! The series explores the history of this divisive war and its meaning for our nation today.

Anthony Lee
Civil War Photography on the Battlefront and Home Front
Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m., free

What did Americans see and feel when they looked at the first photographs of Civil War battlefronts? Join Anthony Lee, Professor of Art History at Mount Holyoke College, in a discussion of Civil War photography, focusing on Alexander Gardner's work. Lee will be available after the talk to sign his book, On Alexander Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the Civil War.

This free lecture is made possible by the generous support of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

For more information on the Civil War Lecture Series, please refer to the Museum's programs page. For information on visiting the Museum please click here, or call 781-861-6559.

Photo credit: Courtesy Anthony Lee

Civil War Lecture Explores Black Activists in Boston: March 23 at 2 p.m.

Our 2013 Civil War Lecture Series begins this weekend! Join us for the first lecture in the series. The series explores the history of this divisive war and its meaning for our nation today.

Stephen Kantrowitz KANTROWITZ
A Citizenship of the Heart: Black Activists and Universal Brotherhood in Civil War-Era Boston
Saturday, March 23 at 2 p.m., free

Stephen Kantrowitz, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, will explore how the fight to abolish slavery was part of a broader campaign by Boston’s African American community to claim full citizenship. The talk will trace the activities of Prince Hall Freemason Lewis Hayden, a fugitive slave and Boston anti-slavery activist. Hayden’s Masonic engagement reflects the development of ideas and practices of black citizenship as tool to remake the republic into a place where all men could belong. Kantrowitz will be available after the talk to sign his book, More than Freedom: Fighting for Black Citizenship in a White Republic, 1829-1889.

The lecture is made possible by the generous support of the Ruby W. and LaVon P. Linn Foundation.

For more information on the Civil War Lecture Series, please refer to the Museum's programs page. For information on visiting the Museum please click here, or call 781 861-6559.

Photo credit: Courtesy Stephen Kantrowitz

 


Found on a Civil War Battlefield

80_60DI1The recent release of the movie Lincoln reminds us that we are still marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. As previous posts have noted, the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library is fortunate to have a number of items associated with that conflict in its collection (to see more, visit our website, select our online collection and search for “Civil War”).

I recently came across this intriguing, Civil War-related photograph in the collection. The round case (about 1 3/4 inches in diameter) contains photographs of Union Generals Ambrose E. Burnside (1824-1881) and George B. McClellan (1826-1885). Burnside was born in Indiana and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. After serving in the Mexican War (1846-1848), he settled in Rhode Island. Burnside returned to military service during the Civil War, but is remembered for a lackluster record, including a disastrous performance at the Battle of Fredericksburg in 1862, when the Union Army suffered 13,000 casualties. After the war, Burnside entered political life, serving as Governor of Rhode Island three times and as a U.S. Senator twice. In 1871, he became the first president of the National Rifle Association. He died in Rhode Island in 1881.

George B. McClellan, born in Philadelphia, also attended West Point in the 1840s and fought in the Mexican War. In 1857, he left the military and took a position as Chief Engineer of the Illinois Central Railroad. When the Civil War began, McClellan returned to military service, becoming popular with his men, but employing a command style that put him at odds with President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865). In November 1861, McClellan became General-in-Chief of the Union army. McClellan often hesitated and delayed his attacks, fearing that he faced an enemy with more troops than he had. By November 1862, after McClellan’s failure to make significant progress, he was relieved of command. In 1864, he ran against Lincoln for president and lost. After the war, McClellan returned to work in the engineering field and also served as Governor of New Jersey. He died in New Jersey in 1885.

When these photos were donated to the Museum in 1980, the donor provided a family story that the case “was found on the battlefield at Gettysburg in the latter part of August or early September 1863 by my grandfather, George E. Blose.” George Elmer Blose, born in 1836 in Hamilton, Pennsylvania, was 27 years old in 1863. By the time of the 1860 federal census, Blose had moved east to Perry Township, Pennsylvania, where he lived in his father’s house and worked as a laborer. Records of George’s military service during the Civil War are unclear – a couple of George Blose’s are listed from Pennsylvania, but it is inconclusive which record belongs to George E. Blose, if any. By the time of the 1900 U.S. Census, Blose was listed as the head of his household and worked as a farmer in Perry.

At the time that the Civil War began, photography was still a relatively new development. Family members scrambled to have portraits of their loved ones taken before the men marched off to battle. Portraits of generals, like these of Burnside and McClellan, were popular sellers in the North. Whether George Blose found this pair of portraits on the battlefield as his family recalled, or if he purchased them as a souvenir of the nation-rending conflict he lived through is not known.  Nor is the maker of these portraits identified.  While Mathew Brady is perhaps the most well-known photographer associated with Civil War pictures, he actually took few himself. Instead, he financed a group of field photographers, sending them out to take the images, while he acquired and published the negatives. To see more photographs from the Museum’s collection, visit our website and search the online collection.

Generals Ambrose E. Burnside and George B. McClellan, ca. 1862, unidentified maker, United States. Collection of the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, gift of Olney V. Wadding, 80.60.

Sources:

William Marvel, “Ambrose E. Burnside (1824-1881),” retrieved November 28, 2012, from Encyclopedia Virginia: http://www.EncyclopediaVirginia.org/Burnside_Ambrose_E_1824-1881.

“Ambrose E. Burnside,” retrieved November 28, 2012, http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/ambrose-burnside.html.

“George B. McClellan,” retrieved November 28, 2012, http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/biographies/george-mcclellan.html.

“Photography and the Civil War, 1861-1865, Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History,” retrieved November 28, 2012, http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/phcw/hd_phcw.htm.