cavalry 2

cavalry 3

I like and value this vintage photograph but it causes me much confusion. At first, I believed that this young man was a sergeant in the cavalry. Now, I have my doubts about him being in the cavalry, and entertain the possibility that he was actually a member of the infantry. What is the reason for my indecisiveness? The soldier is wearing what looks to be a western cavalry hat. It may even be a Stetson hat. However, the badge on his hat has crossed rifles, which is a symbol for the infantry. Cavalrymen wore hat badges that showed crossed sabres. This soldier’s badge indicates that he was in Company M of the regiment number seen above the crossed rifles. I find the number too difficult to decipher. I am not sure how to understand the polka-dot scarf peaking out of the sergeant’s jacket. Neck handkerchiefs were definitely worn by soldiers of the era that this photograph was taken, but why a polka dot one? Research revealed that early on, no specific color bandana was designated by the military. When soldiers needed a bandana, they got whatever the local sutler could procure. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt and his regiment of Rough Riders were famous for wearing unauthorized items of clothing and incorrect insignia. A photograph below shows Colonel Roosevelt wearing a blue polka-dot scarf with his uniform. There is another possible story behind this photograph. Perhaps the man in the uniform is simply an actor dressed for his roll in a theater production. I hope that a visitor to the cabinet card gallery, who has much militaria knowledge,  will be generous enough to leave a comment revealing more information about this photograph. This photograph was taken by the Weiser studio in Knoxville, Tennessee. Langdon Road, an online photography directory, provides a glimpse of the biographical information concerning the proprietors of the Weiser studio. Miss Alice Patton Weiser (1860-1945) and Anna B Weiser (1867-1948) were the photographers who operated the studio that took this photograph. At the time the photo was taken, the pair conducted their business from 119 1/2 Gay Street in Knoxville. Business directories indicate that they occupied this address in 1894 through1903.  A George W. Weiser (1825-1903) also was a photographer in Knoxville between at least 1888 and 1903. He was the father of Alice and Anna. During part of his career he worked in the 119 1/2 Gay Street location. The 1910 census reported that sisters, Alice and Anna, were both working as photographers. By 1920, both had exited the profession. It appears that the sisters not only worked together; they lived together for decades.  (SOLD)


cavalry 1

Published in: on December 3, 2018 at 12:00 pm  Comments (1)  
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  1. Some other possibilities. I don’t see ‘ U.S.’ displayed anywhere on the uniform(?). Could be military school (my guess) … or militia. Handsome though..

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