Monday, October 8, 2007

Susannah Smith - 2nd Maine Cavalry


This photograph is one of my favorite Civil War images. Discovered in a collection of photographs of members of the 2nd Maine Cavalry, it is of a woman armed and in uniform. A notation accompanying the photograph identifies here as Susannah Smith.
The 2nd Maine spent most of its career in Florida as part of the command assigned to the District of West Florida. From its base at Barrancas Post near Pensacola, the regiment participated in numerous raids and expeditions in Northwest Florida and South Alabama. The 2nd Maine sustained its heaviest casualties during the Battle of Marianna on September 27, 1864.
I will confess, I know very little about this photograph. Some sources have speculated that she was a soldier in the regiment, but I also think it entirely possible that the photograph was taken as a prank. If anyone has any thoughts, I would love to hear from you!

4 comments:

Kat said...

Were you ever able to determine if this photo is real, or a prank? Where did you find the photo?

Thanks,
Kat

Dale said...

Kat, I've come to the tentative conclusion that she was sort of a "mascot" or "little sister" to the regiment during its days in Maine before it went into the field. I've found some mentions of her being involved in recruiting efforts as the 2nd Maine was forming. She never actually went into the field with the unit.

Dale

Kat said...

Thanks - that's very helpful!
- Kat

Dale said...

You are very welcome. I continue to look for more information on her so hopefully I will come up with more detail at some point.

Dale