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Friday, October 18, 2013

Civil War Photo Friday: John Wilson Vermillion, CSA

This is John Wilson Vermillion of Virginia, long thought to be Texas Jack Vermillion, a supporter of Wyatt Earp during the Tombstone fights. Actually that was a different man, as is thoroughly proven in an excellent new book I reviewed here.

While John Wilson Vermillion wasn't the famous Western gunslinger, he still had an interesting life. Here he is posing for a photo during his time serving in the Confederate army. He enlisted on August 12, 1861 in the 5th Battalion of Tennessee cavalry. He spent the war mostly in Tennessee and Kentucky and saw a great deal of combat. His service records are incomplete, but we know he was sent home at least once after being wounded.

Here he is with a cavalry saber and a rather unimpressive little pistol. This photo was probably taken when he enlisted. Men would often have their photos taken to mark that important event, and often posed with weapons supplied by the studio. So while he certainly carried a saber during the war, that little popgun may have been a studo prop!

On the other hand, many soldiers brought weapons and other equipment from home. Vermillion's war records show he was paid extra because he brought his own horse, so maybe he carried that pistol as a backup weapon to the saber, pistol, and possibly carbine that the army issued him.

Photo courtesy Wikipedia.

1 comment:

  1. Bonus if you brought your own horse? One less thing the army had to supply.


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