This sixth-plate tintype was sold to me as John F. Willis of the 3rd Ohio Cavalry but my reading of his name is John F. Wells. I’m inclined to believe this is 18 year-old John F. Wells of Green county, Missouri who enlisted on 1 July 1864 in Co. M, 16th Missouri Cavalry. This regiment played a role at the Battle of Weston and chased Price’s rebel horde out of Missouri. If you have reason to differ with me in your professional opinion, I welcome all comments. — Griff
A Sixth plate tintype. This image has the same backdrop as one owned by Chris Maldonado. When he asked “Faces” if anyone recognized the backdrop, he heard from Ben Pauley, “Yes, I’m very familiar with this back drop. I have 4 images with the same BD. This backdrop is identified as “The Withered Tree Backdrop” in the July-August 1994 issue of Military Images Magazine based upon the sad looking tree to the left of the flag. There are two identified images using this backdrop. One belonging to the 5th Ohio Cav and the other to the 11th IN Inf. Research by Roy Mantle indicates that the only place those two units both were located at is Paducah, KY. The 4 images I have are perfectly focused and very nicely tinted. The soldiers are also seated in the same chair that are in this same image.” Ben’s images are published: “In my collection and published in my newest book “Civil War Hard Images Volume 2 – Union”
I’ve posted five Civil War letters to Lydia Jane Waller of Clark county, Illinois. Included with the letters was a ferrotype (with the emulsion flaking off rather badly) that was unidentified but suspected to be Lydia’s three older brothers—all of whom served in the Union army. Josephus Waller (1824-1862) in the middle was wearing civilian clothes. He did not enlist until June 1862 in Co. I 68th Illinois. He died in late September 1862 of disease. On the left was Reuben Waller (1826-1862) who enlisted in Co. I, 18th Missouri Infantry. He was wounded in the Hornet’s Nest at the Battle of Shiloh and died of congestion of the lungs in mid-June 1862. On the right was James L. Waller (1837-1933) who enlisted in Co. A, 40th Illinois Infantry in August 1861. He was discharged in September 1862 due to a gunshot wound. This image was probably taken in the winter of 1861-2.