Dead Confederates, A Civil War Era Blog

Virginians at Gettysburg, Fifty Years On

Posted in Memory by Andy Hall on January 12, 2012

Three unidentified Confederate veterans at the Gettysburg reunion, 1913. The event, held between June 29 and July 4, 1913, the 50th anniversary of the battle, was the largest Civil War reunion ever held, with over 50,000 veterans in attendance. These three unidentified Virginians were among the approximately 8,750 former Confederates at the event. Each wears a ribbon (long, with fringed end)  marked “R. E. Lee Camp / No. 3 / Hampton, Va.” Each also wears a reunion badge similar to this one, though possibly with stacked rifles in place of the cavalry’s crossed sabres. The man at center, directly facing the camera, wears a single metallic bar on each collar, while the one at right wears two stars. These correspond, respectively, to Confederate officer ranks of Second Lieutenant and Lieutenant Colonel; do these indicate wartime ranks, or perhaps posts within the UCV? I don’t know. The two men at right also appear to wear the Southern Cross of Honor on their lapels, presented to veterans by the UDC. Photo by Harris & Ewing, via Library of Congress.

3 Responses

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  1. Cotton Boll Conspiracy said, on January 16, 2012 at 2:19 pm

    What a wonderful photo. Even though these gentlemen were in their late 60s or early 70s at the youngest, I still don’t think I would have wanted to have tangled with them.

  2. Keith Harris said, on January 16, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I am pretty sure those are UCV ranks. I have found several high ranking officers in the UCV who served as enlisted men during the war.

    • Andy Hall said, on January 16, 2012 at 7:12 pm

      Makes sense. I have a relative who was known for 20 years and “Colonel So-and-so,” and described as such in both his obituary and family lore. Turns out he was a buck private, from the start of the war to the last, but was awarded the title of colonel years later by the UDC in recognition of his work in veterans’ groups.

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