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    Description

    AN HISTORICALLY IMPORTANT AND WELL-KNOWN CIVIL WAR ALBUMEN BY GARDNER & GIBSON OF GENERAL HOOKER'S STAFF IN MOCK BATTLE, but annotated by a Massachusetts officer who provides a previously unknown and revelatory identification of one of the major rambunctious figures as artist A. R. Waud.

    Extremely rare albumen print executed by Alexander Gardner of a rather energetic mock battle scene that was conducted between nine Federal officers for the exclusive benefit of the photographer's camera and has long been popularly titled as "General Hooker's Staff Stage a Mock Battle," its participants largely accepted as being from left to right (1) Unidentified, (2) Colonel Benjamin C. Lunlow, (3) Lt. Colonel Joseph Dickinson, (4) Capt. Ulric Dahlgren, (5) Lt. Ronald S. Mackenzie (on the ground with the back of his head towards the viewer), (6) Lt. Colonel Edward R. Warner, (7) Major Daniel W. Flagler, (8) Capt. Henry Russell, and (9) Capt. John R. Cox.

    What is so very significant about this particular 4.5" x 6" specimen of that scarce photograph (actual albumen measuring 3.25" x 4"), however, is that for the very first time the figure lying on his back with his head to the viewer is fully identified as being noted Civil War artist A. R. Waud rather than Lt. Ronald S. Mackenzie!

    Found only recently among the effects of a Massachusetts officer by the name of Benjamin H. Ticknor, the annotated example of the photograph "Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1862, by Gardner & Gibson, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of Columbia" that was preserved by Capt. Ticknor carries the following period pencil identifications done in his own hand (with in some cases the respective ranks of the individuals reflective of the time of the notation): "Col. J. Howard, R.Q.M. [Regimental Quartermaster]," "General Ludlow," "Lt. Col. Dickinson," "Col. Dahlgren," "A. R. Waud," "Col. Warner," "Major Flagler (Ordnance Officer)," and "Major Cox, C.S. [Commissary of Subsistence]." On the reverse of the image, Capt. Ticknor has written "Mock fight over the body of A. R. Waud, artist" and "Col. Dahlgren & staff & [et]c."

    Although he has omitted Capt. Henry Russell from his captioning, Capt. Ticknor has now not only positively identified the unknown officer on the extreme left, but far more importantly, has also convincingly revealed that the mysterious fallen fellow in the center is famed Civil War Harper's Weekly sketch artist, Alfred Rudolph Waud, who, if one examines the photograph closely, is wearing no shoulder insignia devices on his coat, nor any sign of uniform buttons on his cuffs. Furthermore, Capt. Dahlgren's lost forage cap is hidden just behind the overturned bench, while A. R. Waud's trademark slouch hat rests in a logical juxtaposition in the middle foreground. Last but not least, it is an established fact that A. R. Waud was traveling with General Hooker at the time this photograph is believed to have been taken.

    An exceedingly rare image in its own right, presently made all the more exciting and intriguing by this new information and the keen and astute observations of Capt. Benjamin Holt Ticknor, 45th Massachusetts Infantry and 2nd Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

    Condition: Fine, light foxing and contrast with stain upper left corner.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2007
    1st Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,003

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