Friday, May 31, 2019

Cards and Liquor: Photographing the 119th Pennsylvania, Part 6.

In my past four posts, I have examined several images depicting the 119th Pennsylvania at rest. Here is one more for the road.

Here, we can see the Pennsylvanians playing cards and displaying some of their alcohol. 

Presumably, most of these men belonged to Company E, whose commander, Captain William Gray, can be seen standing in front of a log hut near the horizon. 

It is sobering to contemplate the fact that these soldiers would experience horrendous fighting during the last year of the war. Three of them would be killed during the Overland Campaign. Seven others would be wounded by the same fighting. One would be killed in the Shenandoah Valley. Three others would be wounded near Petersburg in 1865. One would die of disease and another would desert. Six would be taken prisoner and three of those would die at Andersonville. 

When this photograph was taken, they had a long way to go before they could celebrate victory.

It’s nice to see them here, at ease, before all of that hell commenced.

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