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Friday, March 2, 2012

Civil War Photo Friday: A Union general and his family

Today my wife and I are celebrating our 12th anniversary, so in honor of that occasion here's a photo of Brig. Gen. John Aaron Rawlins with his wife and child, taken at their quarters during the siege of Petersburg. Although it's not known just when this photo was taken, the siege lasted from June 1864 to April 1865. In static campaigns such as that, soldiers often brought their families to stay with them.

Rawlins was born in Galena, Illinois, Ulysses S. Grant's hometown. Grant was a clerk in the leather store of Rawlins' brother. Once the war started, Grant's star rose faster than Rawlins'. Grant made Rawlins his aide-de-camp, a role he performed with meticulous attention to detail. He also tried, not entirely successfully, to keep Grant off the bottle and kept up an ongoing correspondence with Grant's wife, providing objective accounts of Grant's state of mind. Rawlins long friendship with Grant paid off after the war. Grant became president and made Rawlins his Secretary of War.

Here's a closeup of the happy family. I wonder what this little girl thought of life in an army camp?
Happy anniversary, Almudena!!!

Photo courtesy Library of Congress.


  1. Happy Anniversary!

    I love looking at old photographs of family groupings and wondering what their personalities were like, how they got along, and even how they ended up posing right there and in that manner.

  2. Striking photo. Much like a photo of Grant with Julia and their son Jesse. Just posted it with cross-reference to your post here.


  3. Happy anniversary! And judging from the blur, she moved when the photo was taken.


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