Several CDVs from a album compiled by the Newcomb family from New London Connecticut include boys and youth. Some are Newcomb boys. Other are their friends. And there is a CDV of a school class at the Hill Street School in New London that Fred Newcomb attended. We are guessing the boys at the school exchanged portrait of each other--and indication that the family and their friends were affluent. Some of the portraits are dated 1862. We believe that all of them were taken about the same time. This was early in the Civil War. The boys' patriotic frvor is displayed in a unit they formed--Star Company. New London was an important port and there would have been a lot of naval activity there. We know nothing about the Newcomb family other than they look affluent. All we have to go on are the CDVs.
Several CDVs from a album compiled by the Newcomb family from New London Connecticut include boys and youth. Some are the Newcomb boys. We know nothing about the Newcomb family other than they look affluent. All we have to go on are the CDVs.
Some of the portraits are dated 1862. We believe that all of them were taken about the same time. If some of te CDVs were not taken in 1862, they look to us to have been taken at least in 1863 or early 64. None of the CDVs have Federal tax stamps, confirming this dateing. This was early in the Civil War. The boys' patriotic frvor is displayed in a unit they formed--Star Company.
New London is a southeastern Connecticut city and port on Long Island Sound at the mouth of the Thames River. It was an important port and there would have been a lot of naval activity there. The Federal Navy played a major role in the War, blokading the Confederacy as part of the Anaconda Plan. There was a naval yard at New London, meaning ships were built there. Fort Trumbull in New London served as a Union fort used primarily for inducting and training recruits. Unlike the South, families in the North did not face privation. In fact it was an era of economic expansion. A city like New London in prticular would have benefitted from all the naval construction.
The Newcomb family album provudes some fascinating images of children in the North during the Civil War. This looks to be an affluent family caught up with the patriotic emotion. The outbreak of the Civil War resulted in an outburst of patriotism, both in the North and South. The school military unit may have been a reflection of this. Of course these boys were too young for actial service, but the Star Company allowed them to show their patriotism and support for the War. Some of their fathers or older brothers probably enlisted. Some of the other images show the boys in military uniform posed with rifles. The portrait here and the related portraits of the boys are interesting because it shows a class and group of boys during the Civil War (1861-65). The boys seem to have formed a school unit--Star Company. They wre uniforms and even had a flag with the stars aranged in a star. There were various ways of arrangeing the stars before and after the War. We are not sure how the School used the military units or if there were others at the school. It seems to have been some kind of patriotic exercise. The boys may have worn the uniforms for drill.
This 1862 CDV is one of the earliest CDVs we have archived on HBC. It is a Civil War school scene. The portrait shows two school chums, Fred Newcomb and Wolcott Daboll. The boys are posed in Civil War style uniformsand muskets. One boy has a bayonet added. The uniforms have a star on the chest. The boys attended the Hill St. School, we believe in New London, Connecticut. We believe this was a private school. This and the elaborate uniforms suggest to us that the boys came from an affluent family. The uniforms suggest that the school was a military school, but I don't think this was the case. The uniforms seem more a kind of patriotic exercise, perhaps used for drill. The boys were part of Star Company. I think this was a fairly small school, so there may not have been other companies. We are not sure about that.
The photographer was Morgan & Bolles in , New London.
Other CDVs in the Newcomb family are friends. Some of these old CDV albums inlude mostly family and relatives. This album seems to include friends of the Newconb boys, especially Fred.
We are guessing the boys at the school exchanged portrait of each other--and indication that the family and their friends were affluent. Two such friends appear to be Fred Latimer and Colby Jeffrey.
Fred Newcomb attended the Hill street School in New London. There is a CDV of a school class at the school. This is a look at a small private school during the War. The school seems to have formed the boys into military units. Fred Newcomb was in Star Company. The boys probably drilled in their uniforms. Note the map put up in the photographic studio. As news came in about battles we would guess the boys would have poured over such maps.
Here we see another CDV portrait of Fred Newcomb (figure 1). He is a few years older. The portrait is not dated, but there is the gum residue of a Fedral tax stamp on the back of the CDV. Thus we would date the portrait to 1865 or 66. Fred here is wearing a more elaborate uniform, looking rather like an actual uniform. Note is kepi on the chair. We would guess that he is a cadet in a miitary school. Curiously it looks like a grey uniform. That of course was the color of Condederate uniforms. We suspect that the militry school he attended had grey uniorms. We suspect that the school may have changed the cilor of their uniforms during or after the War. Fred in this portrait looks to be a yong teenager, perhaps 13 years old.
A reader writes, "The uniform wasn't necessarily gray. If it were a medium blue the photographic materials of the era would have rendered it lighter than modern photography would. It's for the same reason that blue eyes in old photos appear washed out, and the blue field of an American flag looks much lighter than the red stripes." That was certainly true with the fim that was used for snap shots in the early 20th century. I'm not sure it was true fir the film used in the 1860s. It seems to me that Civil War era flags were more correctly depicted.
Navigate the Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site:
[Return to the Main ordinary bio page]
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [Essays] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]