Plate 50. The Halt, scene near Culpeper

Text and photograph from Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook of the War, Vol. II. Negative by Timothy H. O'Sullivan, text and positive by Alexander Gardner.
"Cigars and cognac, with these we bivouac," says the old song, but as Cognac was, in the army, a questionable fluid, to say the least of it, and scarce at that, the lounger in the grass wisely contented himself with the pleasures of the weed. His good war-steed, in condition highly creditable to the groom, patiently accepts the opportunity to rest, evidently affording an object of critical admiration to his master, whose orderly meanwhile keeps an eye about the vicinity. There is nothing particular in the picture to account for this little halt, but those who recognize the officer, may possibly give a shrewd guess at his reasons. He is the Quartermaster of the Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac, and has doubtless ridden forward to the position selected for camp, to examine its capabilities, and await the arrival of his wagon-train, in order to personally superintend the pitching of the tents, and the parking of the wagons.
To still further satisfy curiosity, it may be mentioned that the reclining officer is Captain Harry Page, since Colonel and Chief Quartermaster of the Cavalry Corps, one of the most arduous posts of duty in the service, and one whose necessities during the severe campaigns up the Shenandoah Valley, and in the vicinity of Richmond, kept the young Colonel always upon his mettle.
Currently not on view
Object Name
albumen photograph
date made
Gardner, Alexander
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 7 in x 9 in; 17.78 cm x 22.86 cm
place made
United States: Virginia, Culpeper
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Sports & Leisure
Gardner's Sketchbook
Civil War
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Photographic History
Gardner's Sketchbook
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
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