Exhibitions/ Art Object

[Union Soldiers Sitting on Bench, Playing Cards]

Unknown (American)
Tintype with applied color
Plate: 8.9 x 6.4 cm (3 1/2 x 2 1/2 in.) Case: 9.4 × 8.3 cm (3 11/16 × 3 1/4 in.)
Credit Line:
The Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation Fund, through Joyce and Robert Menschel, 2012
Accession Number:
Not on view
During the war, not every hour of every day was devoted to fighting, marching, and drilling. To pass the time in the field and in the semi-permanents camps during the long winter months when the war essentially stopped, soldiers in the North and the South entertained themselves with games of cards, checkers, chess, and dominoes. In this informal tintype, a pair of Union soldiers share a bench, a smoke, and a game of cards.
Inscription: Inscribed in ink inside case backing behind image: "Candor NY, // 184[9?]"; inscribed in ink on paper note found behind the image inside the case: "Candor NY July 12, 1849 // David Willson the gentleman // at the Left was born and // Died May 30, 1874 // Elias J. Briggs // David Willson"
Medhurst & Company, Kansas City, MO.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," April 2, 2013–September 2, 2013.

Gibbes Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," September 27, 2013–January 5, 2014.

New Orleans Museum of Art. "Photography and the American Civil War," January 31, 2014–May 4, 2014.

Per the vendor, David Willson was in the 119th NY and was wounded at Gettysburg; Elias A. Briggs was in the 150th NY.
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