Plate 70. Army Repair Shop

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.
In such rude manner did the lusty artificers of the corps carry on their needful trades, doing much good work under the scorching rays of the southern sun. At one time the majority of these hardy workmen were detailed from the ranks, with extra pay and allowances, but when every soldier was needed behind his musket, skilled men were hired for such duty, and some of the soldiers ordered back to their regiments. On the right of the view is the stocks, a neat contrivance, to facilitate the shoeing of mules, an operation which those self-willed animals had a decided objection to undergo. Time being precious, the farriers could not be expected to waste much in the exercise of their persuasive abilities. The refractory mule was led into the stocks, often by the seductive display of a peck of oats, suddenly to find himself suspended in air upon a huge belly-band. Four stout fellows seizing his feet, fastened them securely with thongs in the required position, and while impotent rage convulsed his frame, rapidly nailed on the shoes, finally releasing the hybrid in a state of wretched uncertainty as to the intents and purposes of his masters.
The tent fly, with its partial walls of loose bricks, covers the forge. Around it are the wheel and harness-makers, evidently resting, with pleasing expectations of forming a prominent feature of the photograph, while the contrabands have assumed positions of determined fixedness, worthy of the occasion.
Currently not on view
Object Name
albumen photograph
date made
Gardner, Alexander
Physical Description
paper (overall material)
overall: 6 3/4 in x 8 13/16 in; 17.145 cm x 22.43658 cm
place made
United States: Virginia, Petersburg
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
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
Additional Media

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