“Burnside’s Bridge” across Antietam Creek. A bucolic scene of a graceful old bridge, built in the 1830’s by the local German-American farmers. On September 17, 1862, hundreds of soldiers were shot down trying to cross it.

 

The “Dunker” Church at Antietam. The German Baptist Brethren were a pacifist sect. Their simple church was pockmarked with hundreds of bullets during the battle, and served as a field hospital, filled with the wounded and dying. After the battle, it was used to embalm bodies – –  just one of the many technological advances of 1861-1865.

 

 

 

Repeating rifles using metal cartridges were available during the war, but the majority of soldiers were still using muzzle-loaders. So to be a soldier, all you want for Christmas is your two front teeth, to bite off the top of the paper cartridge holding the gunpowder and bullet.

 

old house overlooking the Antietam battlefield, toward Bloody Lane.

 

Gettysburg

 

“Little Round Top” is a rocky hill at Gettysburg. General Gouverneur Warren climbed it and instantly realized that if the approaching Confederate forces occupied it, the battle was lost. Yankees won the race up the hill, and held it.

 

 

 

 

Civil War, Decoration Day, History, Memorial Day, photography, Uncategorized

Memorial Day 2017. Pictures of Gettysburg & Antietam

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WPA poster from the 1930’s

 

c. 1900-1910

 

Rushville, NY

 

1908

 

Antietam

 

 

Monument to the Irish Brigade at Bloody Lane

 

Civil War, Decoration Day, Memorial Day, Waterloo

Memorial Day Postcards & Pictures VI

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The “Flags on Parade” stamp was first issued on May 30, 1991 in Waterloo, NY, for the 125th anniversary of the village’s Memorial Day observances.

 

1908

 

c. 1900-1910

 

 

1908

 

1908  Grand Army of the Republic. Membership in the G.A.R. peaked at 490,000 in 1890. Their last “encampment” was held in Indianapolis in 1949, and it’s last member died seven years later.

 

1908

 

 

Decoration Day, History, Memorial Day, Uncategorized, Waterloo

Memorial Day Postcards V ~ ~ ~ 1900 – 1910 ~ ~ ~ Old Glory

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The Spanish-American War provided another opportunity for reconciliation between Civil War vets. “Fighting Joe” Wheeler, the Confederate general, commanded the U.S. cavalry fighting in Cuba. Although while watching the Spanish troops retreat, he forgot himself and yelled “Let’s go, boys! We’ve got the damn Yankees on the run!”

 

An odd juxtaposition — a solemn admonition “Lest we forget” with pretty women in uniform.

 

I count 46 stars, so 1908-1912. Until the Spanish-American War, soldiers wore blue wool, winter or summer, and even after khaki was adopted, the blue survived as the dress uniform. I thought this hat was fanciful, but other than the gaudy gold trim, it’s actually the correct style of dress cap for that era.

 

1908. Horrifyingly indiscreet, but at least the young lady isn’t revealing any ankle.

 

In the 1890’s, this became a day for hugely popular bicycle races, followed in 1911 by the Indy 500. It’s a neat poster, but again, it seems like a strange partnering of soldiers, aged vets, and bicyclists. Library of Congress

 

This one puzzles me — has he enlisted to escape his formidable-looking wife? Or was he shooting at that hat by mistake, hoping to have pheasant for dinner?

Civil War, Decoration Day, Memorial Day, Uncategorized

Memorial Day Postcards IV ~ ~ ~ A Bit Less Serious

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c. 1900-1910 Even as the number of surviving Civil War soldiers dwindled over the years, cards continues to display the emblem of the G.A.R. (Grand Army of the Republic), a fraternal organization, and a powerful lobby for the interests of Union veterans and war widows. In later years, you also see the emblem of an offshoot, the S.U.V. (Sons of Union Veterans), which was formed in the 1880’s.

 

c. 1900-1910

 

c. 1899 “To My Comrade” A Spanish-American war uniform, however, with the G.A.R. insignia and badge

 

This postkarte, like a lot of the ones I’m posting, was printed in Germany, which may explain the unusual two-finger salute. As far as I know, it’s used in the U.S. only by the Cub Scouts, but hasn’t been used by our military. It was apparently more customary in the German and Polish armies.

 

c. 1917

 

illustration from a 1917 “Youth’s Companion”

 

 

Decoration Day, First World War, History, Memorial Day, Uncategorized, WWI

Memorial Day Postcards III ~ ~ ~ 1900 – 1918 ~ ~ ~ Passing the Torch

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c. 1917-1918.   Even after Veteran’s Day (originally called Armistice Day) was instituted in 1919, Memorial Day has continued to be an opportunity to honor not only those lost in the wars, but also the surviving veterans, and those currently serving in the military.

 

 

c. 1900-1910 Some historians estimate that 70,000 soldiers lost a limb during the Civil War. It has often been noted, that in 1866, the state of Mississippi spent more that half it’s annual budget on artificial limbs.

 

One of the philanthropists supporting this writing contest for one-armed veterans, Theodore Roosevelt, Sr. (Teddy’s father), had also supported the war effort, but did not serve in the army. Instead, he avoided the draft by hiring a substitute to take his place in the ranks.  LOC

 

LOC

 

I just read that Hanger, Inc., a company providing prosthetic limbs, was founded by a Confederate veteran. J. E. Hanger enlisted at 18, and two days later, was hit by a cannonball. He may have had the honor of becoming the first known amputee of the Civil War. An engineering student, he developed a lighter, superior wooden leg made from barrel staves, and supplied them to the Confederate Army. He lived long enough to see his inventions used by another generation of soldiers, wounded in the First World War.

 

James Edward Hanger, from his company’s website

 

c. 1900 – 1914

 

 When I looked at this particular portrait, I wondered if he survived the war.

 

1883 Reunion of Union veterans. LOC

 

LOC

 

“A Grateful Land Remembers All Her Promises Today”

 

Civil War, Decoration Day, History, Memorial Day, Waterloo

Memorial Day Postcards II ~ ~ ~ 1900 – 1918 ~ ~ ~ Veterans

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Over the next few days, I’ll be posting some pre-WWI postcards from Memorial Day, which used to be called Decoration Day in some parts of the country. My hometown, Waterloo, NY, was the first in the country to begin an official, community-wide, non-sectarian observance of Memorial Day, starting in 1866. Two years later, General John “Black Jack” Logan, head of the largest organization of Union veterans, the G.A.R., began observances at Arlington National Cemetery. After World War I, when it became a day to remember the dead from all our wars, most southern states began participating. The cards were at first sentimental portrayals of old vets, children and widows remembering the fallen, then later scenes of reconciliation, and over time, sometimes show the day becoming a less solemn, springtime holiday, until the losses of the First World War.

 

 

Tuck's 1900-1910

 

This one isn’t a postcard, but rather a c. 1893 pictorial premium from a coffee company. A bit clumsy – the artist probably didn’t intend to make it look like a geriatric quoits tournament.

 

Tuck's 1900-1910

 

1912.

 

 

 

Memorial Day cover of the 1894 “Youth’s Companion”

Civil War, Decoration Day, History, Memorial Day, NY, Uncategorized, Waterloo

Memorial Day Postcards I ~ ~ ~ 1893 – 1912 ~ ~ ~ Remembrance, Reconciliation, Floral Tributes

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