Stereoview of Civil War US Colored Troops in the Trenches During the Siege of Petersburg, 1864
Original Photo[AFRICAN AMERICAN MILITARY] A group of four African American soldiers sit at the mouth of an earthen bomb-shelter, while one man below stands over a large pot making coffee, 1864. On the Lines Before Petersburg, Va., 1864. Hartford, CT: The War Photograph & Exposition Co., ca 1864. About 6 1/4 x 3 1/8 in. stereoview on a cardstock mount. Series imprint, image number, and brief caption on mount recto. On the rear of the stereoview, one will encounter a brief description of the photograph, revealing that: "This view gives a glimpse of the bomb-proofs in which our soldiers tried to live, during the long siege at Petersburg, 1864-1865; the campfire and the coffee-kettle look as familiar as in those days of yore". Additionally, the rear of the stereoview portrays sentiments directly from the notable The War Photograph & Exposition Company, revealing the rarity in composing and obtaining such a photograph. The stereoview depicts a candid view into the lives of the honorable United States Colored Troops (USCT) division, revealing barren, desolate living conditions. Scattered across the dirt are tin cans and cups attached to long pieces of wood, presumably used as a way to extend them into a campfire at a safe distance. Even so, one will spot a pickaxe, wooden barrel, and a wooden washbucket made by cutting a barrel in half within this stereoview. In December of 1864, the USCT would join forces with three other divisions to become the XXV Corps of the Army of the James—the largest Black force that assembled during the war comprised of 9,000 to 16,000 men. Light toning and minor paper loss to mount edges and corners, not affecting photograph or text. In very good condition.
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