Yesterday a patron was looking for a book in the local history room and said, “I saw it here twenty years ago!” Well it turned out that the reference copy had been absconded with before I got here but we still had one in the NCNF circulating collection.
The book is a collection of photographs of NC Confederate Civil War soldiers called, State Troops and Volunteers: A Photographic Record of North Carolina’s Civil War Soldiers, Vol. 1. I had never even heard of the the book and it is a remarkable, painstakingly researched work that required collecting images from 320 families from all over NC. And it is the first work of its kind that didn’t rely on photos found in archives. The author, Greg Mast, received so many photographs that he decided to end this volume in 1862 with the intention of publishing other volumes. But the fact that this was published twenty years ago gives me the sinking feeling that there will not be any more volumes, which is very unfortunate. However, there is still this one and there are some singular photographs in the book, including one collection of photographs from the Woodard family of Wilson County, a family that truly suffered more than most during this period. And much to my surprise there is a photograph of the brother of my great great grandfather. I had never seen this photo of Ephraim Kale, who is a too young, fifteen years old when it was taken. I have included the captions for both images in the post.