[Mainly Georgia and Tennessee: ca. 1896-1897]. 102 miniature cabinet card photographs, each 1.75 x 2 inches, each mounted on card measuring 2 x 3 inches, all sequentially numbered 1-105 (with no #44, 62, 98, or 100, but with an additional image numbered 51 1/2) and all but five with short manuscript captions on verso identifying at least the location. Occasional minor wear or fading to images. Overall a wonderful group. Very good. Item #4449
A charming group of annotated vernacular mini-cabinet cards capturing many dozens of scenes in the American Deep South in the last decade of the 19th century. The compiler was likely traveling with a special interest in the Civil War, which had concluded just about thirty years before the present images were taken. Almost half of the images pertain in some way to the War of Southern Independence (as the compiler likely termed it), memorializing battlefields or monuments, with two images capturing cannonball holes ("scars of cannon balls") through trees in Tennessee.
The images are sequentially numbered and begin with a view down Bull Street near the Pulaski Monument in Savannah, Georgia. The second image features the DeSoto Hotel and the Jasper Monument. The third photograph shows the Green Monument at the corner of Bull and Congress, and so forth. The date of the photographs comes from the ninth image, still in Savannah, dated December 6, 1896. The first half of the images also include incredible shots of street and market scenes, buildings, monuments, battle locations, and more in other cities throughout Georgia, such as Waycross, Valdosta, Macon (featuring a "Confederate Monument" among other scenes), Columbus, and Atlanta. Of particular interest are impressive shots of large cotton markets and a "cotton plat farm" in Macon, Georgia, steamboats on the Chattahoochee River in Columbus, as well as local African Americans engaged in various occupations and activities. Image number seventeen features a scene in "Southern Ga." from a train car window in the "negro cabin," and the twenty-first image showcases a "cotton store" in Valdosta.
With image forty-seven, the traveler has arrived in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where they visited the downtown area before moving on to Lookout Mountain and the Chickamauga Battlefield. The compiler captured numerous scenes at Chickamauga, where they photographed cannon placements such as Slocum's Louisiana Battery, Battery Hill, and monuments to the Tennessee Cavalry, the 88th Indiana Monument, the 10th Wisconsin Infantry, the Confederate Artillery, the 2nd Minnesota Volunteers, the 18th Ohio Battery, and others, as well as the Kelly, Brotherton, Dyre, and Snodgrass houses, among other sites in and around what is now the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park. The eightieth image offers a "birds eye view of [the] Battlefield" at Chickamauga. The Tennessee photographs conclude with seven shots around the levee at Memphis. The remaining three images capture a group of buzzards, a scene in the woods, and "Carlisle Station" in Arkansas.
We've never seen anything quite like this group of annotated vernacular miniature cabinet cards which provide a phenomenal snapshot of Southern life and scenery near the end of the 19th century, much of it centered around the Civil War, and with much content from the distant past related to the modern argument over the future of Southern war monuments.