17
   

Unknown Civil War Officer?????

 
 
Ionus
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 05:55 pm
@joefromchicago,
That uniform even has the join line across the front of the shoulder like the photo, a characteristic borrowed from Garibaldi style and era that makes it very distinctive. Remove the cockade from behind the badge and it is a lot closer to the photo but not quite a dead ringer.

I am not convinced the original tunic did not have buttons, but rather thay may have been touched over. I dont think we can say one way or the other.

Do you have an explanation for the coloured collar in the photo or the coloured trim ?

I am still trying to find a description of the Louisianna Volunteers, Garibaldi Brigade as there were far more Italians in New Orleans and othe major cities than has been recognised in this thread.
Setanta
 
  0  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 06:44 pm
From Louisiana Public Broadcasting

Quote:
Some cultural groups are found throughout Louisiana. Italians, one of the largest such groups, began arriving en masse from Sicily at the turn of the twentieth century. Most settled in rural agricultural communities, later moved into cities to start small businesses, and soon dominated the food distribution systems. But some rural Italian communities remain. One is in and around the town of Independence in the Florida Parishes, where strawberry farming persists and families make strawberry wine. Another rural, conservative Italian community is located around Powhattan in North Louisiana. (emphasis added)


From the University of New Orleans

Quote:
Citizens of Italian descent comprise a significant percentage of South Louisiana's total population, and have had a tremendous impact on Louisiana culture, from architectural masonry to foodways to jazz and brass band music. In Independence, the proportion of Italian residents is conspicuous in that Italian-Americans outnumber any other cultural group. Many of these are first-generation Italian-Americans, their parents having emigrated at the turn of the century from southern Italy-Apulia, Calabria, and primarily Sicily. Italian emigrants to Louisiana typically arrived at the Port of New Orleans and quickly found work, often as plantation workers replacing the newly freed slaves. As soon as possible, they sent for the rest of the family, and children worked alongside their parents in the cane fields. (emphasis added)


********************************************************

I know of no "Garibaldi Brigade" which served during the American civil war. Certainly there were various Garibaldi brigades which served in Italy (ironically, they were Bersaglieri), and a Garibaldi Brigade which fought for the socialist government during the Spanish civil war of the 1930s.

I've found no evidence of any significant Italian population in Louisiana prior to the turn of the 19th to the 20th century. Certainly there were not enough to have provided a brigade for Confederate service, which would have required from 3,000 to 5,000 private soldiers.

From Latin American Studies-dot-org

Quote:
The 39th [i.e., the 39th New York Regiment of United States Volunteer Infantry], the "Garibaldi Guard," recuited in New York City, was composed of three Hungarian companies, three German, one Swiss, one Italian, one French, one Spanish and one Portuguese, most of whose members had already seen active service. (emphasis added)


We have no reason to assume that the house referred to was in Louisiana. We have no reason to assume that the photograph was of a resident of Louisiana. We had a single post in which Panzade claimed that he thought the uniform resembled a Louisiana uniform of the Civil War period. Otherwise, there is absolutely no reason to assume that this photograph portrays a citizen of Louisiana.

Furthermore, we have no reason to assume that this photograph portrays a member of any military organization which took part in the American civil war. Moreover, there is absolutely no evidence produced by anyone here that there was ever an all-Italian military formation in Louisiana, nor anywhere else among Confederate forces, for that matter.
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 06:44 pm
@danon5,
Thanks, danon, interesting stuff. Two comments:

Your first photo shows a young Benito Mussolini (note the mustache). Mussolini served with the 8th Bersaglieri Regiment during World War I. He would later adapt some of the distinctive features of the Bersaglieri as parts of Fascist symbolism. For instance, Blackshirt units often employed the fast march (really a brisk jog) characteristic of the Bersaglieri even today. A good example of this can be seen in Fellini's film Amarcord, as il Duce makes his rather theatrical entrance into the city.

Your last picture shows a member of the American 332nd Regiment fighting alongside Italian troops. I have a photo book (US Official Pictures of the World War, printed in 1920) that has several pages devoted to the 332nd, which was the only US unit to fight on the Italian front (which, btw, also made it the only US unit to fight the Austro-Hungarians during the war). It was sent at the request of the Italians primarily to show America's commitment to its ally and for morale purposes. The book describes the 332nd as "an Ohio outfit."
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 06:49 pm
@Ionus,
Ionus wrote:

That uniform even has the join line across the front of the shoulder like the photo, a characteristic borrowed from Garibaldi style and era that makes it very distinctive. Remove the cockade from behind the badge and it is a lot closer to the photo but not quite a dead ringer.

I'm not sure how other people are making out details of the hat badge from that photo -- all I see is a white blob. I can't explain why the badge in the photo doesn't look like a Bersaglieri badge, but then I can't explain why it looks like a white blob either. Bad lighting?

Ionus wrote:
Do you have an explanation for the coloured collar in the photo or the coloured trim ?

The color is the same color as the uniform. Or, at least, that's the way it looks to me.
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 07:15 pm
@Setanta,
Quote:
We had a single post in which Panzade claimed that he thought the uniform resembled a Louisiana uniform of the Civil War period.


After reviewing my books I found I was mistaken
0 Replies
 
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 07:22 pm
There was a Garibaldi Guard. Maybe a few:

Quote:
The “Garibaldini” in New York formed the Garibaldi Guard, the 39th New York Infantry Regiment that fought on the Union side with the same Italian flag used in the battle of 1848-49 in Italy. On the opposite side soldiers and volunteers from Italy joined General Lee’s Army. Most of them came from the Kingdom of Two Sicilies Army. They were prisoners of war from the Kingdom of Sardegna and were forced to move to New Orleans after the Garibaldi expedition in south Italy. There was also a brigade in the Confederate Army named Garibaldi but they changed their name in 1862.


http://cache1.asset-cache.net/xc/90001868.jpg?v=1&c=NewsMaker&k=2&d=77BFBA49EF878921CC759DF4EBAC47D0563006889E65D4B9CB40B5EFE5EDA296B2BFDC95B9E8ABC7

There's the hat again
danon5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 07:46 pm
@joefromchicago,
Joe, you are correct again. I did see among the collection of photos a picture of Mussolini in what appeared to be a WWII uniform (or, of that time period) prancing along with a few officers trying to keep up. What a funny thing to see.

Great going guys - looks like we may be getting to a point of consensus.

Oh, and that "join line' across the shoulder could easily be the epaulet line "touched up" by the photographer. The original uniforms obviously had epaulets because you can see them.



0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 07:51 pm
That's interesting, Panzade, and, of course, i have already taken note of the Garibaldi Guard. However, your source is suspect. The "battle in Italy in 1848-49?" There were socialist uprisings in Europe, including in Italy, which were brutally suppressed by the Prussians and the Austrians. Many of the "48ers" (i.e., Germans who participated in the 1848 uprisings) fought for Mr. Lincoln--most notably Louis Blenker and Franz Sigel. But your source makes it sound as though there had been a single battle in Italy which lasted from 1848-49. Furthermore, it speaks about "Lee's army," and then says that the "Garibaldi" unit changed its name in 1862. Lee commanded no army, after leaving West Virginia in 1861, until he took command of the army before Richmond just before the Seven Days battle. After that time, he christened his army the Army of Northern Virginia. So if Lee ever actually did command a "Garibaldi Brigade," it wasn't for very damned long.

Furthermore, your source is making some confusing statements about the Italians it alleges ended up in New Orleans. The Kingdom of the Two Sicilys, commonly known as the Neapolitans, were the opponents of Garibaldi in his 1860 campaign in Sicily. The Kingdom of Sardinia (which is what i suppose was meant in that paragraph) had an army commonly referred to as the Piedmontese army (the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia was, by then, in Milan in northern Italy). So the paragraph you have quoted seems very confused about who was who in that conflict. Garibaldi's campaign in southern Italy only ended when the Piedmontese army (from the Kingdom of Sardinia) arrived, and thereby outnumbering the Neapolitans, who had previously outnumbered Garibaldi's volunteers. Garibaldi himself finally recognized King Victor Emmanuel for his part, and retired in November, 1860.

Therefore, i find it highly suspect to speak about Italian prisoners of war who arrived in New Orleans, and formed an Italian Brigade. A standard regiment in Confederate service in the early stage of the war was from 600 to 800 men. Typically, there were five regiments in a brigade. This was more or less formally established by the Confederate States Congress, which had wanted to organize brigades by state--a plan vociferously objected to by Joe Johnston and Robert Lee. Until the summer of 1862 and after the battle of First Mannassas, Johnston commanded what was then known as the Army of the Potomac, and which Lee was to rename the Army of Northern Virginia; Lee himself led a failed campaign in western Virginia, earning the sobriquet of "Granny Lee," and became the personal military adviser to Jefferson Davis. The objections of Johnston and Lee lead to a policy in the Confederate States Army of brigading four regiments from a state, with a fifth regiment from another state, on the principle that this would spark a friendly competition.

For Italians to have provided an entire brigade of troops to the Confederate States Army, they would have needed about 3000 to 5000 private soldiers. Garibaldi landed in Sicily with just 800 volunteers. The notion that even a few thousand "prisoners of war" resulted from Garibaldi's 1860 campaigns is suspect.

On these bases, i am unwilling to consider your source to be authoritative (never mind that the author could not spell Sardinia--perhaps the author is Italian, which might account for the odd spelling).
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 07:59 pm
For the career of Robert Lee, see R. E. Lee, Douglas Southall Freeman, 1934. For the controversy over the organization of brigades in southern armies, see Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command, Douglas Southall Freeman, published serially in the 1940s.

See also, The Civil War: A Narrative, Shelby Foote, published serially from 1954 to 1974.
danon5
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 08:34 pm
@Setanta,
Here is an image of the cloth patch. At least one of them -there were apparently several different ones. This one could be "painted" by a period photographer to appear like the one in the photo "roughly" if looked at from an angle.
http://s2b.directupload.net/images/100316/mi7vj48m.jpg

Joe - here's the photo of the Musso-trot............... Looks funny to me.
http://s2b.directupload.net/images/100316/5bviz78k.jpg

Setanta, maybe ehBeth told you - I'm a cousin to R.E. Lee in real life. To my knowledge, he was not the commander of the Southern Forces - but, you're right - he advised Jeff Davis who was the armchair commander right up until Sherman was marching north from GA. Then, Davis gave command of the entire Confederate Army to Lee - at the last dang minute. At least that's the way I understand Lee's role - may be wrong though - wouldn't be the first time.

panzade
 
  2  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 08:35 pm
@Setanta,
Appos for not giving the source set

http://us-civil-war.suite101.com/article.cfm/italians_and_the_american_civil_war

He is Italian by the way he spelled Sardegna
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 09:38 pm
@danon5,
(All of the following remarks are based on several Lee biographies, but principally on Freeman's R. E. Lee, which was, of course, the "granddaddy" of Lee biographies. It was also hagiography, and made no effort to present the point of view of the Federal armies when describing operations.)

Lee resigned his commission rather late. He had taken command of the Second U. S. Cavalry in Texas when Albert Sidney Johnston left to go to California (there's an excellent biography of A. S. Johnston by William Preston Johnston, his son, who was also a "volunteer secretary" to Lee at Washington College--now Washington and Lee University--before the old General's death). He was granted leave, because of an illness of his wife (who was by that point in her life, virtually a constant invalid, with crisis episodes), and was in a hotel in San Antonio when the Federal commander in Texas, General Twigg, compounded an agreement with Ben McCulloch, and marched his troops out of the state--that was mid-February, 1861.

Lee returned to Virginia, and naturally enough, paid a call on Major General Winfield Scott, then the ranking officer in the United States Army. (When Grant was promoted Lieutenant General, it was only the second time in American history, Washington being the first, and until then only Lieutenant General in the United States Army, during the presidency of John Adams.) Lincoln had not been inaugurated, and Virginia's convention had not yet determined to secede. It is claimed by several reliable sources that Scott offered Lee a commission as Major General (which would have passed him over the heads of all other officers in Federal service, except Scott) and command of the Federal armies. Lee, if that offer were actually formally tendered, did not immediately reply. In fact, the substance of his reply was to tender his resignation upon the secession of Virginia. His rank was then Colonel. Throughout the war, Lee wore the rank insignia of a Colonel.

He was first commissioned in the Commonwealth of Virginia, and offered his services to Governor Letcher, but was soon invited to attend the Confederate Congress (which had recently arrived in Richmond), when he was offered a commission as Brigadier General in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America. He was subsequently fourth or fifth on the list of seven Generals produced by the C. S. Congress (General as in the highest rank available), behind A. S. Johnston, Joseph Johnston, and Pierre Beauregard (among others). He was the senior military adviser to President Davis, and apparently the only officer to whom Davis would listen, and to whom Davis would defer. Late in 1861, he was sent to take charge of an almost impossible situation in western Virginia (where forces and supplies were scanty, where many of the locals were Union men, and where he had three separate commanders to control, all of whom despised him and one another). His dismal performance there earned him the nickname "Granny Lee." He was then sent to the Carolinas and Georgia coasts to inspect and supervise the repair and construction of coastal defenses. He had the temerity to make white men dig for the construction of these defenses (which proved extremely effective), so he was then given the nickname "the King of Spades." He was not held in high esteem.

But Davis continued to listen to him and take his advice. The Confederacy always suffered from an obsession with an area defense. That meant that local officials and state Governors kept huge numbers of troops idle to defend them against unspecified threats. Lee understood how wasteful this was, and worked to correct it, although not with great success. However, he did convince Albert Sidney Johnston to strip the Gulf coast of idle troops, and that was the army which Johnston lead to the battle which became known as Shiloh. If Johnston had survived his wound, and that jackass Beauregard had not taken command, there was a real possibility that Grant's army would have been scattered before Don Carlos Buell could arrive. It would only have been a tactical victory and temporary, but if it had ended Grant's career (Lincoln was interfering and unforgiving) in early 1862, the effect would have been invaluable to the Confederacy.

In early 1862, McClellan began his peninsular campaign, and Joe Johnston felt obliged to abandon the Centreville line--leaving behind millions worth of irreplacable military supplies, including just about all the beef the CSA then currently owned. "Prince John" Magruder--so called for his love of amateur theatrics in "the old Army"--did a wonderful job at flim-flamming the Yankees, and slowing their advance, but the investiture of Richmond on the East was an unavoidable consequence. At the battle of Seven Pines, on June 1, 1862, Joe Johnston (whom i consider to have been a superior soldier to Lee, but whose clear vision made him a pessimist to whom Southerners were unwilling to listen) was wounded.

Thereafter, Lee took command of the "main army" of the Confederacy, renamed it the Army of Northern Virginia, and began the career for which he became famous. I consider him to have been highly over-rated. It was not that he did not possess the requisite skills, he just didn't seem to want to employ them effectively. Most criminal was his staff work--which was almost non-existent. Given that he made his name and his career in the old Army as Winfield Scott's chief staff engineer in Mexico, i consider his behavior to have been completely inexplicable, if not actually pathological.

He retained that command, and the respect of Davis, and continued to advise the C.S. President while he discharged his duties. After the war, until his death in 1870, he was the President of Washington College, and it was there that he related to William Preston Johnston and others his reminiscences. He did not exactly whitewash his career, but like the Anglo-Saxon Chronicles, he took no notice of his own deficiencies. He didn't need to do his own PR work though--Jubal Early, with whom Lee had always maintained rather distant relations, and who loudly and publicly criticized Lee while he served in the ANVa, became his hagiographer after the war, in a series of public speaking events lasting more than 20 years. In fact, it became Early's post war career. Lee remains one of the most fascinating figures in American history.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 10:15 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
I'm not sure how other people are making out details of the hat badge from that photo -- all I see is a white blob. I can't explain why the badge in the photo doesn't look like a Bersaglieri badge, but then I can't explain why it looks like a white blob either. Bad lighting?
You are right to be suspicious of a white blob. It would be the best way to identify the unit however.

I have found this in my search, it may be of some interest :
http://www.ustica.org/genealogy/italian_brigade.htm
And this :

http://books.google.com.au/books?id=DOd4uDE06g8C&pg=PA6&lpg=PA6&dq=louisiana+volunteers+garibaldi+guard&source=bl&ots=XK0ZTuQpLj&sig=k75_Khpe3BvByBC-qkA_mT_r7yc&hl=en&ei=4dWeS82XAc-GkAWx1oS3DA&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=7&ved=0CBoQ6AEwBg#v=onepage&q=louisiana%20volunteers%20garibaldi%20guard&f=false
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 10:18 pm
@joefromchicago,
Quote:
The color is the same color as the uniform. Or, at least, that's the way it looks to me.
The collar is a pale colour, perhaps yellow with the front patch making a middle trim line around the collar. The patch and trim are the same colour, perhaps red or blue or black as these were common trim colours.
0 Replies
 
Ionus
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Mar, 2010 10:49 pm
If anyone wants to help, these are the units I am having trouble with :

Garibaldi Legion - one company of Italians - Uniform ???

1st Division New Orleans, Louisiana Legion brigade - Battalion of Italian Guards - Uniform - These had the 'Hat' and a red shirt

Defense Guards - Italian Guards (Major Della Valle) - related to the Battalion of same name ??

Wouldnt it be a bit strange if it turned out to be Major Valle ? What would be the odds ?
Walter Hinteler
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 12:39 am
@danon5,
danon5 wrote:
Joe - here's the photo of the Musso-trot............... Looks funny to me.


You should see the Bersaglieri marching and especially their marching band - that does look peculiar funny.
danon5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 07:56 am
@Walter Hinteler,
Oh my, Walter. I can see that in my imagination now ---- made my day. Big Grin!!!

Setanta - thanks for the bio, I always had thought (from something I must have read at an early age) that Lee never had the drive or the heart to really go after the North. He was apparently torn inside at having his loyalty with Virginia and commiting to the South. That must have weighed heavily on him. I understand he had great religious convictions also.

Hey --- this is true. I personally met Gen Winfield Scott IIII while serving in the US Army in Korea - during '80. He was a gentleman and not over weight like I understand the first W. Scott was.
Also, it may be of slight interest, I met BG Stubblebine at Ft Huachuca, AZ during '78. He is/was the brother of Lee Marvin the actor. I had a whole new respect for Lee Marvin after learning that during the start of WWII he dropped out of High School at the age of 17 and joined the US Marines - serving in the Pacific until the end of the war. No wonder he acted so well during his "war flicks".

Back on subject - the original photo we see on page One was evidently taken indoors using an incandescent light bulb which has a tungsten filament. That's why the photo looks orangy/yellow and the shading of the clothing is hard to read. Maybe a new shot using natural lighting and a sharper more detailed image would help.

0 Replies
 
joefromchicago
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 08:06 am
@Walter Hinteler,
panzade
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 08:10 am
@joefromchicago,
I'm exhausted just watching that video.
0 Replies
 
danon5
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Mar, 2010 09:01 am
@joefromchicago,
Oh - Meine - Got !!!
Well, at least they were all in step with each other - that in itself is a bravo for the average Italian. Now don't get me wrong, I love Italy and all my wife's relatives who we visit there regularly. Grin!!!

 

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