✅ SOLVED Found Photo Negative - Troops? Re-Enactment?


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Jun 23, 2012
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Need your help to identify picture. Found this little photo or film negative in a junk yard box. No date. Nothing to identify it. I reversed and lighten the negative to show the image. Looks like it is possibly a re-enactment or boy scouts or troops? What do you think is going on? Thanks for the help.


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I think MDC hit the nail on the head with his suggestion, that this is likely a single frame from a movie shot. :thumbsup:

The Civil War Wasn't Just About the Union and the Confederacy. Native Americans Played a Role Too

In the Union War Department a few steps from the White House, clerks wrote out dispatches to commanders in California, Oregon and the western territories. The federal government needed army regulars currently garrisoned at frontier forts to fight in the eastern theater. These soldiers should be sent immediately to the camps around Washington, D.C.

In New Mexico Territory, however, some regulars would have to remain at their posts. The political loyalties of the local population—large numbers of Hispano laborers, farmers, ranchers and merchants; a small number of Anglo businessmen and territorial officials; and thousands of Apaches and Navajos—were far from certain. New Mexico Territory, which in 1861 extended from the Rio Grande to the California border, had come into the Union in 1850 as part of a congressional compromise regarding the extension of slavery into the West. California was admitted to the Union as a free state while New Mexico, which was south of the Mason-Dixon Line, remained a territory. Under a policy of popular sovereignty, its residents would decide for themselves if slavery would be legal. Mexico had abolished black slavery in 1829, but Hispanos in New Mexico had long embraced a forced labor system that enslaved Apaches and Navajos. In 1859 the territorial legislature, made up of predominantly wealthy Hispano merchants and ranchers with Native slaves in their households, passed a Slave Code to protect all slave property in the Territory.

In order to ensure that this pro-slavery stance did not drive New Mexico into the arms of the Confederacy, the commander of the Department of New Mexico would have to keep most of his regulars in place to defend the Territory from a secessionist overthrow, as well as a possible Confederate invasion of New Mexico. Union officials wanted more Anglo-Americans to settle in New Mexico Territory at some point in the future, in order to colonize its lands and integrate the Territory more firmly into the nation. As the Civil War began, however, they wanted to control it as a thoroughfare, a way to access the gold in the mountains of the West and California’s deep-water ports. They needed the money from the mines and from international trade to fund their war effort. The Confederates wanted these same resources, of course. In the summer of 1861, Union forces had to defend New Mexico Territory in order to protect California, and the entire West.

People stand on the sidewalk and in the street at the east side of Plaza in Santa Fe, NM.1866.png
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Oct 12, 2006
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I've done Civil War reenacting for years. It looks like a reenactment picture to me. Terrain says out west somewhere. High boots, yellow kerchiefs, and carbines says dismounted cavalry. The guy slumped over the fence says melodramatic reenactor. I'm guessing this is a picture of a "Wild West Show" taken by a tourist.
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Feb 24, 2006
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Petespockets nailed the key ID-clue... "full-color" film did not exist until the 20th Century.

Also, yellow kerchiefs as standard issue uniform for Enlisted-men's ranks dates those cavalrymen to the Indian Wars era, not the civil war.
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