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 76
A Fancy Group, Army of the Potomac. Front of Petersburg, Virginia.
August, 1864
Photographed by David Knox

The monotony of camp life was relieved by every variety of amusement that was known, or could be devised. During the periods of inactivity, base ball, cricket, gymnastics, foot races, &c., were indulged in to a great extent, and on holidays horse races, foot races, and other games were allowed. Sometimes the men would put up a greased pole, with a prize on the top, for any one who succeeded in climbing up to it, and not unfrequently a pig would be turned loose with a shaved and greased tail, for the men to catch. Any grip but a “tail hold” was illegitimate, but he who seized and held the pig by this appendage, carried it off in triumph to his mess.

Cock fighting, however, was quite unusual, and seldom permitted, except when some of the contrabands incited their captured Shanghais, or more ignoble fowls, to combat. Such displays were always ludicrous, and were generally exhibited for the amusement of the mess for whom the feathered bipeds were intended. Horses and mules perished by hundred from ill-usage, but with this exception it would be exceedingly difficult to cite an instance of cruelty to animals in the army. Fowls, dogs, kittens, and even wild animals, were made pets of, and were cared for most tenderly. Sometimes a regiment would adopt a dog, and woe to the individual who ventured to maltreat it. Several of the Western regiments carried pet bears with them, and one regiment was accompanied by a tame eagle in all its campaigns.

Caption taken from original text, Plate 76, Vol. II,
Gardner's Photographic Sketch Book of the War

(Washington: Philp & Solomons, 1865-66)


click to view full image
A Fancy Group, Army of the Potomac. Front of Petersburg, Virginia. August, 1864 Photographed by David Knox

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