Plate 16
Inspections of Troops at Cumberland Landing.
Plate 46
Provost Marshal's Office.
Plate 49
General Post-Office, Army of the Potomac.
Plate 63
Breaking Camp.
Plate 76
A Fancy Group, Army of the Potomac.
Plate 77
Army Forge.

Plate 63
Breaking Camp. Brandy Station, near Culpeper, Virginia
May, 1864
Photographed by James Gardner

Here is represented the deserted quarters of Gen. Sharp, Chief of the Secret Service of the Army of the Potomac, at Brandy Station, Virginia. The tents have been removed, and the sketch depicts the scene when the camping ground, which had been occupied by headquarters during the winter, is being abandoned for the spring campaign. In the back-ground are the stalls for the staff horses, and the stockade or “bull pen” for prisoners arrested by the Provost Marshal General. The photograph possesses interest only as an illustration of the mode of life of the army in winter. No sooner is it known in camp that the quarters are likely to be permanent, than every man commences the erection of substantial quarters, which, in the winter season are made as comfortable as any village. Floors are laid in the tents, log huts are built, and their inner walls neatly covered with illustrated papers, and chimneys with capacious fire–places erected, rendering the winter home of the soldier, if not desirable, at least a very pleasant residence. Storms and frost are unheeded, and the long evenings pass in mirth, with no care for to-morrow’s hardship or future perils.

What sad reflections crowd upon the mind in visiting these relics of the past! All through the South in many a lonely waste such columns stand as mournful monuments of forgotten joys and aspirations; sealed volumes, whose unwritten lore none can interpret save those who made the record. Fragments of a sorrowful era, and witnesses of events which the world may pray shall never be re-enacted, the visitor beside each wreck will ask:

“Why standest thou, lone “The chiping cricket’s song
  mark?   has ceased,
Gray ruins, mist and mould The silent spider spreads
Are dripping where thy   his feast;
  spark Here did thy winter welcome
Glimmered in times of old   shine,
Within thy bosom now. Where darkly creeps the
The snake hath made his   poison vine.
  home: So hopes too bright forsake
The owl, from ‘neath thy   the breast,
  brow And canker comes a
Hoots his nightly gloom   constant guest.
  Old fragment! perish with
    thy lore,
  Nor longer memory implore.”
   
Caption taken from original text, Plate 63, Vol. II,
Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War

(Washington: Philp & Solomons, 1865-66)
 


click to view full image
Breaking Camp. Brandy Station, near Culpeper, Virginia May, 1864 Photographed by James Gardner

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