Confederates Photographed in Frederick

Confeds in Frederick

Confederates Photographed in Frederick, Maryland: September 1862 or July 1864?

In April 2018, Battlefield Photographer: The Journal of the Center for Civil War Photography published an article offering fresh insight into a famous photo of a Confederate column halted in the streets of Frederick, Maryland. Historians have long thought the subjects in the photo are troops with General Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson’s command, which passed through the town twice during the rebel invasion of Maryland in September 1862. The press quickly latched onto the article, crowing that “after three years of painstaking research,” the authors had revealed the picture was “actually taken” in 1864 during the passage of Jubal Early’s army through Frederick on July 9.[1] There is, however, a problem. The reporter’s statement is incorrect. To quote the essay itself: “It may never be known for sure whether the Confederate photo was taken in September 1862 or July 1864.”[2] Rather than state conclusively that the photo was taken in July 1864, authors Paul Bolcik, Erik Davis, and Craig Heberton IV suggest there may be reasons to question a September 1862 date for the picture. They offer a credible scenario of events in 1864 that could account for the photo being taken in July of that year, but they freely admit there is no direct proof. What Bolcik, Davis, and Heberton do provide are new details concerning the location where the photo was taken, making their research a valuable addition to our knowledge of the artefact. Nevertheless, the lack of conclusive evidence leaves hanging the questions of date, timing, and identity of the men in the picture.

Since no source has surfaced confirming when the photo was taken (or by whom) we are left with attempting to place the image in the historical context that makes the most sense. The authors hint that neither year – 1862 or 1864 – offers evidence which outweighs the other, but is this accurate? Do sources exist that can enable us to come an acceptable conclusion? It is my hope that the following analysis will demonstrate, in as far as it is possible, the validity of one date versus the other.


First, a little geographical background. Bolcik, Davis, and Heberton prove beyond doubt that the picture was taken in Frederick, Maryland from the upper floor photographic studio of Jacob Byerly at what was then 27 North Market Street. They also prove that the image shows Confederate troops facing south roughly one-half block north of the intersection of Market and Patrick Streets, precisely where Byerly’s studio was located. In the 1860s Market Street flowed into the Georgetown Turnpike south of town, while to the north it became the Liberty Turnpike, which intersected with the road to Emmittsburg at Worman’s Mill some two miles from Frederick. Patrick Street was and is the city’s major east-west axis, its western end leading to the Hagerstown Turnpike and Harper’s Ferry Road in the 1860s and its eastern end becoming the Baltimore Pike. Bolcik, Davis, and Heberton render us an invaluable service by identifying exactly where the Confederates in the picture are standing—at the strategic intersection in the heart of Frederick through which every army that entered the city during the Civil War would need to pass.

Map 1

Jackson’s Command in Frederick, September 1862

Following the Army of Northern Virginia’s passage over the Potomac River on September 4-6, Stonewall Jackson’s command, spearheaded by John R. Jones’s division (formerly Jackson’s division), entered Frederick on Sunday, September 7, 1862.[3] To quote the report of U.S. Sanitary Service officer, Lewis Steiner, a Frederick resident and witness to these events, “at ten o’clock [in the morning] Jackson’s advance force, consisting of some five thousand men, marched up Market street and encamped north of the town.”[4] Reports from Jones’s men themselves place their bivouac around Worman’s Woods, about two miles north of Frederick.[5] The lone exception was Bradley T. Johnson’s brigade, which occupied Frederick itself as the army’s provost guard, using the old Hessian Barracks at the south end of town as its quarters.[6] The placement of Jones’s remaining three brigades and divisional artillery appears to have been strategic on Jackson’s part, as they covered the northern approaches to Frederick from Liberty and Emmittsburg at a large bend in the Monocacy River. As Major Hazael Joseph Williams of the 5th Virginia Infantry of Winder’s brigade, then under the command of Colonel Arnold Grigsby, noted in his official report on the campaign: “entered Frederick September 7, and encamped about two miles from the city, on the Emmittsburg road.”[7]

The remainder of Jackson’s command, Richard S. Ewell’s division, commanded by Alexander R. Lawton after Ewell’s wounding at the Battle of Second Manassas, and Ambrose Powell Hill’s division, under the command of Lawrence O’Bryan Branch due to Hill’s arrest by Jackson on September 4, passed through Frederick to the east and south. Lawton’s division went into camp east-southeast of Frederick, covering the Baltimore Pike and the rail line running to Frederick. One source suggests that Lawton’s men may have even camped, “on the Baltimore side of the Monocacy Bridge.”[8] Branch’s division, for its part, marched south to Monocacy Junction, covering the rail bridge there and the approach to Frederick from Washington, DC over the Georgetown Pike.[9] At three miles distant, Branch’s (Hill’s) division lay the farthest away from the center of Frederick compared to the two miles of Jones’s division and the roughly two-and-a-half miles of Lawton’s men.[10]

Map 2

Jackson’s troops occupied themselves for the next two days visiting Frederick to hunt for food and clothing, along with liquor and any other supplies they might enjoy. According to some reports these requirements were extensive. Not only did the inhabitants of Frederick record the arriving Southerners as “dirty … repulsive” and “unkempt,” Jackson’s men described themselves as “ragged” and “shoeless,” or in a “sad plight.”[11] The reason for their general state of decrepitude, explained Frank Mixson, a private from South Carolina, was that “before crossing into Maryland the entire army were ordered to leave all their baggage, and on this trip we had nothing but a haversack, canteen and a blanket or oil cloth, besides the accoutrements—gun, cartridge box and scabbard. You will see from this that we were prepared for quick marching.”[12] Gunner Edward Moore echoed Mixson’s sentiment in his postwar memoir, writing, “our extra baggage—and extra meant all save that worn on our backs—had been left weeks before near the banks of the Rapidan.”[13]

By all accounts, many of Jackson’s men successfully replenished their worn out clothing while in Frederick, a potentially important detail to keep in mind when examining the photo of rebel troops in the street.[14] Winder’s (Grigsby’s) brigade in particular received “supplies of shoes and clothing,” in addition to whatever the men could purchase on their own.[15] The handful of troops we can see in detail appear to be well clothed and shod with cleanly shaven faces. Bearded men can of course be seen as well. Not every man would take the time to shave off a beard knowing he was about to return to the road, but for those few we can see, they look to be in better condition than one might expect based on eyewitness testimony. The equipment carried by the troops in the picture also appears to closely match Frank Mixson’s description. Most men carry little more than their muskets, cartridge boxes, and haversacks (single-strap bags typically used to carry rations). A larger number can be seen with bedrolls slung over their shoulders, but fewer than a half-dozen men can be seen wearing knapsacks. This distinction is important as knapsacks were commonly used for toting personal items, including photos of loved ones, writing implements, Bibles, shaving kits, etc. The men in the photo are not carrying these, or even bayonets, illustrating how they had indeed stripped down for Mixson’s quick marching.

Concerning the hour of their march from Frederick itself, the generally accepted sequence of events is that Jackson distributed orders on the evening of September 9, per Robert E. Lee’s instructions in Special Orders No. 191, for his command to depart early the next morning.[16] There is some inconsistency in the sources that make it impossible to determine exactly when Jackson’s troops stepped off. Several sources estimate they began at three o’clock a.m., but as the reliable Lewis Steiner noted, “at four o’clock this morning the rebel army began to move from our town, Jackson’s force taking the advance.” [17] Steiner may not have learned until that hour of Jackson’s men moving through the city, which would make it easy to dismiss his estimate as an error, but there is convincing evidence that Jackson himself did not expect his troops to move until daylight. In the early hours of September 10 he had his Acting Assistant Adjutant General, Major Elisha Paxton, send the following instructions to General Branch, then commanding A. P. Hill’s division: “the major general commanding directs me to say that, instead of moving at dawn, as hitherto ordered, you will follow General Lawton when he comes up, he being ordered to move at dawn.”[18] In short, although Jackson’s men may have been roused at three or four o’clock in the morning, the general did not anticipate them to be on the road until dawn, which, if defined as the first gray light before sunrise, arrived at around 5:15 a.m.

Whatever Jackson’s expectations may have been for his command’s departure, he was not present to oversee the advance and without him things rapidly became botched. Jackson himself got an early start, riding into town from his bivouac at Best’s Grove “about sunrise” to visit a family friend, the Reverend Doctor John Ross, on Second Street.[19] Sunrise on September 10 arrived at approximately 5:44 a.m., an early hour, and Jackson found the good doctor still asleep. Accordingly, he left Ross a note and took Mill Alley (called Bentz Street today), before turning right onto Patrick Street and riding out of Frederick at the head of his sizeable entourage, which included his personal bodyguard, the Black Horse Cavalry.[20] The timing of all this is important because as Jubal Early explained in a letter to the Southern Historical Society in 1875: “the General went through Frederick, with a cavalry escort, in advance of his troops, who did not pass through the town until he was some distance beyond.”[21] A second source corroborates Jackson’s departure ahead of his column: “it is a perfectly well-known fact that Stonewall Jackson did not pass through Frederick along with his corps, but rode rapidly through the town with a small cavalry escort about an hour before his troops marched through the streets.”[22] Accounting therefore for the thirty minutes or so it would have taken Jackson to ride to Frederick from his bivouac some three miles away, and incorporating the few minutes that he paused at the house of Dr. Ross, we can assume that Jackson had probably moved out of Frederick by six o’clock in the morning.[23] This means Jackson’s troops followed him out of Frederick after the sun had come up, giving Byerly, or one his associates, ample light to take the now-famous photo.

When they did arrive in town, Jackson’s troops quickly snarled Frederick’s streets. Contrary to orders, General Branch’s division appears to have gotten underway first, with its wagons leading the way.[24] The more rapid passage of wheeled vehicles through town than marching men could explain why Lewis Steiner estimated the Confederate army began moving before daylight. Had Old Jack been more personally concerned with the orderly departure of his men he might have supervised their movement himself. As it was, his absence resulted in confusion as to which division should lead the column.[25] Jones’s men started from two miles north of Frederick with the same instructions as Branch and Lawton, arriving in town at daylight.[26] The lead brigade, that of General William B. Taliaferro, eventually came to a stop in the center of Frederick to sort out confusion in the marching order. James L. Parsons, a soldier with Taliaferro’s brigade, later recalled, “upon reaching Frederick a lighter division (A. P. Hill’s) was ordered to precede the main army. In order to do this they marched by way of the Mill Alley to West Patrick street, while Tolliver’s (i.e., Taliaferro’s) Brigade marched down Market street and out West Patrick, halting before Mill Alley a sufficient time to allow A. P. Hill’s division to come through.”[27]

The following is speculative, but Parsons further explained that Mill Alley “was very narrow and would only admit the passage of infantry, artillery and ammunition.” Therefore, Branch’s (Hill’s) wagon train may have passed through Frederick first, probably using the wider Market-Patrick intersection, before the rest of his command came up. Then, when Branch’s infantry appeared, someone, perhaps Jackson himself, took steps to ensure that these men remained with their train, necessitating Branch take the lead from Lawton. Parsons noted that halting Jones’s men “was simply for the purpose of transferring Hill’s Division from rear to front.” In other words, Branch’s (Hill’s) division, coming up Market Street from the south, took either South Street or All Saint’s Street west to Mill Alley before turning north. When they hit West Patrick Branch’s men then pivoted to the left and exited Frederick with Jones’s men behind them. This delay halted Jones’s column on West Patrick Street and up part of North Market Street directly in front of the Byerly studio long enough for the photographer to take his image.[28] Lawton’s men came last, bringing up the column’s rear.[29]

Map 3

The Byerly photographer thus had an excellent opportunity to take the picture on North Market Street that morning because Jones’s column stopped outside the studio, in daylight, while it waited for Branch’s (Hill’s) men to come up and take the van. Thomas J. C. Williams and Folger McKinsey, in their History of Frederick County, Maryland, also confirm the use of Mill Alley south of Patrick Street by at least some of Jackson’s men, although their inexact language garbles the marching direction: “[Jackson’s] command left Frederick on its westward march, when in moving through the city it passed south to Patrick street through a little side street known as Mill Alley, turning from it sharp to the west of the spot where the home of Mrs. Frietchie stood, Carroll creek and the bridge intervening between it.”[30] Williams and McKinsey were of course writing in reference to the aged widow, Barbara Frietchie, allegedly shaking an American flag at Stonewall Jackson as he passed by her house, but their comments also confirm James Parsons’s description of events if by “passed south” one thinks of them describing the march to Mill Alley south of the Market-Patrick Street intersection.[31]

The source for Williams and McKinsey is a letter written by Frietchie’s nephew, Valerius Ebert, to The Baltimore Sun in the late 1870s, which stated: “as to the waving of the Federal flag in the face of the rebels by Dame Barbara on the occasion of Stonewall Jackson’s march through Frederick, truth requires me to say that Stonewall Jackson, with his troops, did not pass Barbara Frietchie’s residence at all; but passed through what in this city is called ‘The Mill Alley,’ about three hundred yards from her residence, then passed due west towards Antietam, and thus out of the city.”[32] Parsons’s letters clarify that it was Branch’s men who passed up Mill Alley from the south while Jones’s division took North Market directly to West Patrick Street. Ironically, therefore, the Byerly studio photograph itself could be considered evidence of Parsons’s recollections because it shows Jones’s men standing one-half block north of the Market-Patrick intersection.

As for the men in the Byerly studio photograph, we may never know for certain who they are. A reasonable case can be made, however, that they are troops with William Taliaferro’s brigade. This brigade, also known as the Third Brigade of Jones’s division, led the march from north of Frederick that morning with slightly more than 1,500 men in its ranks.[33] Given the marching order described above, the troops pictured would be toward the middle-rear of the brigade, with its head halted at the intersection of Mill Alley and West Patrick Street. The density of troops in the photo shows about 90 to 100 men in a space roughly 125 feet long, this being the distance from Byerly’s studio to the corner of North Market and West Patrick Streets on the right side of the image. Taking this distance as a clue, we can estimate the size of the column ahead of the spot pictured. The distance from the corner of North Market Street and West Patrick to the intersection of West Patrick and Mill Alley is approximately 1,125 feet, suggesting between 800 and 1,000 men had already passed the spot where the photo was taken. That leaves 500 to 700 men to go. James Parsons notes that his regiment, the 23rd Virginia, marched at the head of the column, so the men in the image cannot be his comrades. This leaves the men of the 47th Alabama, the 48th Alabama, the 37th Virginia, or the 10th Virginia, all belonging to Taliaferro’s brigade, as possibilities. Unfortunately, this is as much as we can surmise about the identity of the men pictured until further details come to light.

To recapitulate the story so far, Stonewall Jackson issued orders for his command to march at dawn on September 10, 1862. The general’s columns began passing through Frederick around sunrise, providing sufficient daylight for Jacob Byerly, or one of his associates, to capture their image. The evidence shows some confusion as to which division was supposed to lead the column, stalling the progress of Jones’s command coming in from the north. After an extended delay waiting for Branch’s (Hill’s) command to clear Mill Alley from the south, Jones, whose waiting column extended east along Patrick Street and north up Market Street, advanced behind Branch (Hill) and ahead of Lawton. The photographer had plenty of time in the midst of all this to take a picture of Jones’s men on the street outside of the Byerly studio, men whose equipment and general state of dress fit the descriptions provided by members of Jackson’s command. The Byerly studio photograph is thus a valuable piece of primary evidence that proves the presence of Jones’s men on North Market Street in Frederick, exactly where James Parsons says they were on the march out of town. In effect, the picture validates the events revealed in the documentary sources, not the other way around.

Jubal Early’s Command in Frederick, July 1864

The possibility of nearly 100 Confederate infantry standing in marching order on North Market Street near the photographic studio of Jacob Byerly on July 9, 1864 is connected directly with the fight along the Monocacy River some two to three miles south and east of Frederick that day. Signs of an impending clash developed two days earlier when General Bradley T. Johnson’s cavalry brigade became engaged in a slow-moving fight west of Frederick with a regiment of Illinois horsemen and a smattering of federal infantry. Once it became apparent that the rebel army was too formidable to resist, Union Major General Lew Wallace ordered his command to evacuate Frederick on the afternoon of July 8 and retire to positions along the Monocacy.[34] Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley then descended on the city after a night of intermittent downpours with Robert D. Lilley’s brigade of Virginians, part of Stephen D. Ramseur’s infantry division, leading the way. The North Carolinians of Robert D. Johnston’s brigade came up behind Lilley’s men. Both formations entered Frederick via West Patrick Street at around six o’clock that morning.[35]

Lilley’s brigade proceeded east on Patrick Street and out of the city toward the Jug Bridge, where the Baltimore Pike crossed the Monocacy. Johnston’s brigade turned south on Market Street, continuing its march along the Georgetown Pike toward the road bridge and rail crossing at Monocacy Junction. According to one civilian eyewitness, the march of Ramseur’s two brigades through Frederick took two hours (likely an overestimate) before the army’s wagon train, led by the artillery, entered town at eight o’clock.[36] This train followed Johnston’s brigade south down Market Street toward Monocacy Junction, a passage through town that took between four and five hours, according to local diarist Jacob Engelbrecht. Engelbrecht’s estimate puts the wagon train through Frederick by noon at the earliest. Major General John C. Breckenridge’s corps, comprised of two divisions, commanded by John B. Gordon and John Echols, respectively, followed the train.

Reliable reports put Gordon’s appearance on the field around two o’clock, which makes sense in the timeframe offered by Engelbrecht’s estimate if Gordon’s troops marched on the quick for at least part of the distance.[37] Assuming the reports of Gordon’s division entering the fight south of Frederick between 2:30 p.m. and three o’clock are accurate, Breckenridge’s advance through town took about two hours.[38] Echols’s division, consisting of three brigades under Colonel George S. Patton, Brigadier General Gabriel C. Wharton, and Colonel Thomas Smith, remained outside of Frederick guarding the army’s trains until later in the day when it was called into action.[39] The three brigades then deployed along the eastern bank of Ballenger Creek between the Buckeystown Pike and Monocacy Junction, but they never entered the fight.[40] The four brigade division of Robert E. Rodes came last in Early’s column, following Gordon and Echols after taking the southwest road from Jefferson. Rodes’s men marched due east on Patrick Street to the Baltimore Pike and the Monocacy River beyond, arriving on the field sometime after two o’clock to relieve Lilley’s brigade. Deploying in three lines of battle, Rodes then attacked the Jug Bridge east of Frederick at around 3:30 p.m., soon after Gordon’s successful assault on the federal left flank at Monocacy Junction.[41]

Map 4

The point of this exercise is to demonstrate that nearly all of Early’s infantry marched through Frederick toward the escalating fight against Lew Wallace’s stubborn Union defensive line. The lone exception is the brigade of General William G. Lewis, then under the command of Colonel Archibald C. Godwin of North Carolina. Early himself noted in his memoirs that Lewis’s brigade brought up the rear of the army after starting “from Harper’s Ferry the night before … burning the trestle-work on the railroad, and the stores which had not been brought off.”[42] Godwin entered Frederick at some point in the mid-afternoon behind Rodes, whose division had marched ahead of Godwin’s brigade on the road from Jefferson, which was the most direct route from Harper’s Ferry. In his history of North Carolina regiments, Walter Clark notes that, “Colonel Godwin, soon after made Brigadier-General, was in command of [Lewis’s] brigade, which was left at Frederick, Md., during the battle of Monocacy to protect the rear of General Early’s march.”[43] In other words, the only rebel infantry for which there is evidence of remaining behind the lines in Frederick on July 9 are the four regiments of North Carolinians with Lewis’s brigade and they did not enter the city until mid-afternoon.[44] Clark’s history also explains that the men of Godwin’s brigade were enlisted to transport the wounded from the battlefield back to Frederick.[45] No other source has surfaced recording whatever else Godwin’s men may have done while in town that day, or where they may have been posted.

The documented identification of Godwin’s brigade as the only infantry posted in Frederick on July 9 is important, as is the time of their arrival, because of the details surrounding Jubal Early’s infamous financial levy on the city. Arriving at around eight o’clock that morning, so along with the trains of Ramseur’s division, General Early and several members of his staff rode to the house of Dr. Richard T. Hammond, a reputed Confederate sympathizer, on the northwest corner of Second and North Market Streets.[46] Early allegedly requested use of the home to dictate a demand for $200,000 payable in cash or goods “at current prices,” to the mayor and the town, or he would order his men to burn the city to the ground.[47] The four members of Early’s staff with the general, Colonel William Allan, Chief of Ordnance; Major Wells J. Hawks, Chief Commissary Officer; Dr. Hunter McGuire, Surgeon and Medical Director; and Major John A. Harman, Chief Quartermaster, delivered the demand to the offices of Frederick’s mayor, William G. Cole, in the city court house and proceeded to haggle with him and as many of the city Aldermen and Common Council members as Cole could gather. The negotiations went on well into the afternoon, amounting to what Colonel Allan eventually concluded were stalling tactics on the part of Frederick’s leaders until they could tell in whose favor the Battle of Monocacy would swing.[48] General Early, meanwhile, did not take part in any of this.[49] Departing soon after he had dictated his demands, Early arrived on the field near enough to the Monocacy River to witness General John McCausland’s cavalry locate a usable ford beyond the federal left flank. This occurred at about 10:30 a.m., according to the best available estimates.[50]

The only other time we hear of Early’s involvement in the levy negotiations is when he is purported to have sent his adjutant, Alexander “Sandie” Pendleton, into town to discover the state of the talks.[51] Pendleton either brought news of the impending Confederate victory to Frederick’s town fathers or he arrived at roughly the same time as that news broke from another source. The evidence is not clear which occurred first. In any case, Mayor Cole and the others finally paid the levy by borrowing $200,000 from five of the city’s banks, two of which lay on North Market Street very close to where the Byerly studio photograph was taken.[52] The levy from each bank is said to have been given to Early’s staff in a wicker basket at city hall (i.e., the city court house), after which Sandie Pendleton and his associates dined on champagne and ice cream at a hotel restaurant before exiting the city.[53]

All of this is relevant because of the hour at which the levy was paid – around four o’clock. As recounted above, Colonel Godwin’s four North Carolina regiments entered the city between 2:30 and four o’clock, after Rodes’s division had cleared the way. There is no proof before Godwin’s arrival of an organized or sizeable force of Confederate infantry in Frederick proper. There is evidence that small groups of rebel soldiers moved through the city taking what they wished. Diarist Jacob Engelbrecht noted, for example, that while “some of the secessionist stores sold out all of their Stock of goods, N. D. Hauer’s hat store was entered and robbed of all he had amounting to about 300$.”[54] Elihu Rockwell wrote similarly to Eliza Coleman on July 25, 1864 that, “the rebels nearly ruined Jno. Osborn, your old neighbor. They took from his store everything that they fancied and broke things that they did not take. Their track was marked with destruction wherever they went, particularly to Union men.”[55] Neither Engelbrecht nor Rockwell mention a time during the day when these things occurred.

Another witness, Theodore Brookey, signed an affidavit after the war stating that, “several Confederate soldiers came along, each having a new ‘marked’ Government United States blanket … a Confederate officer … asked them where them got them; they stated over in the warehouse, meaning the Baltimore and Ohio freight building. He told them to take them back, that all property was to be respected.”[56] This event probably took place in the morning, as attested to under oath by Fritchie Hanshew on January 16, 1902: “”Some time during the morning … some Confederate soldiers came to the depot and took away some goods, but they were soon stopped. I don’t know by whom, but they did not disturb anything more during the day.”[57] Finally, there is the oft-quoted statement of G. S. Groshon that “between 8 and 9 o’clock at night a party of Confederates came to the depot to burn the bridge across the creek and the warehouse containing Government property.”[58] Groshon protested that they could not burn the property since the $200,000 levy had been paid. The rebels sent a request for confirmation of this to General Early, who agreed, and the burning party left the scene.

This small handful of statements is the extent of the evidence proving the presence of Confederate soldiers in Frederick on July 9, 1864 doing something other than marching through town on route to the fighting along the Monocacy. None of these statements identifies the rebels spotted in town as infantry, the type of soldiers captured in the Byerly studio image. Confederate infantrymen other than Colonel Godwin’s men could have certainly entered town, or have been posted at various locations, but there is no evidence that they were. It is also possible that Confederate cavalry remained in Frederick during the day on July 9 until Godwin’s brigade showed up, but in this case they are not of interest because the rebel troops in the Byerly studio photograph are clearly infantry, not cavalry.[59]

Another curious detail suggests that General Early left very few men in town on July 9. This is the fact that seven warehouses filled with food, clothing, blankets, and medical supplies, materiel the Valley Army desperately needed, remained largely untouched. David Lewis’s Frederick War Claim, compiled by the city after the war in an attempt to recoup payment of the levy from the federal government, lists dozens of pages of testimony concerning the vast quantity of supplies in government warehouses scattered across particularly the southern portion of town. Major Hawks, Early’s Chief Commissary Officer, listed many of items needed by the army in a second July 9 requisition issued to Frederick’s political leaders: “500 barrels of flour, 6,000 pounds of sugar, 3,000 pounds of coffee, 20,000 pounds of bacon, [and] 3,000 pounds of salt.”[60] All of these stores, including, “a large amount of property, rice, sugar, sanitary stores, wine, etc.” remained untouched.[61]

If Early had posted hundreds of Confederate infantry in the city to intimidate Frederick’s leaders into paying the levy, which he stipulated could be settled in cash or goods, why were these men not employed to discover the supplies that the army so sorely required? An eyewitness who watched the depleted Stonewall brigade (Gordon’s division) march through Winchester a few days earlier noted, for example, that the men looked “emaciated” and “half-naked.”[62] Like Jackson’s men in 1862, the Valley Army’s troops in 1864 needed clothes and shoes, in addition to foodstuffs, yet Early and his senior staff left behind vast quantities of these vital supplies. Neither is there testimony that any Confederate unit in Early’s army ever received new clothing or shoes.

Summing up the available evidence relevant to the Byerly studio photograph, Jubal Early’s Army of the Valley entered Frederick at six o’clock in the morning on July 9, 1864 with Stephen Ramseur’s two brigades in the van. Early’s infantry, guns, wagons, and some cavalry moved through Frederick toward a clash with Union troops on the Monocacy River until sometime in the mid-afternoon when the final brigade, that of Colonel Godwin, entered town. This brigade of four North Carolina regiments, the exact number of men is unknown, remained in town the rest of the day. No evidence exists showing where Godwin posted his men or if they did anything other than the duties to which they were assigned, i.e., guarding the army’s rear and helping transport wounded comrades from the battlefield. Guarding the army’s rear could have entailed the posting of a regiment or two north of Frederick via Market Street, but there is no evidence of this, nor would it have been required because Bradley Johnson’s cavalry brigade had skirted north of Frederick earlier that day, encountering no federal troops along the way. Witnesses in Frederick reported Confederate “soldiers” entering shops and/or one warehouse throughout the day, but no time frame for these activities can be confirmed, nor were the perpetrators identified as infantry. There is some potential evidence in the Byerly studio photograph itself that could confirm its taking on July 9, but this is shaky as well; namely, the presence of a few dark spots on the street which could denote damp areas left behind after rain that fell the night before.[63] No rain fell for weeks before Jackson’s troops marched out of Frederick in September 1862. Still, the image is blurry and these dark spots could just as easily be horse manure or some other detritus waiting clean-up. There is simply no way to know.

In the final analysis, therefore, no evidence exists in the available sources to prove the presence of marching Confederate infantry on the street outside of Jacob Byerly’s studio on July 9, 1864. There is also no evidence disproving their presence, but unlike the situation on September 10, 1862, during which the extant documentation paints a plausible opportunity for Byerly or one of his assistants to capture the Confederates’ image, there is no evidentiary basis for such an opportunity on July 9, 1864. Could the photograph have been taken on that day? Certainly. The evidence, however, makes it less likely than the earlier 1862 date and this is the best we can conclude given the available sources.

[1] John Kelly, “Two history buffs sleuth the truth in a rare photo of Confederates in Maryland,” The Washington Post, Weds., June 6, 2018. Online at

[2] Paul Bolcik, Erik Davis, and Craig Heberton IV, “Confederates in Frederick: New Insights on a Famous Photo,” in Battlefield Photographer: The Journal of the Center for Civil War Photography, Vol. XVI, Issue 1 (April 2018), pp. 3-20.

[3] Bradley Johnson commanded the division on a provisional basis until John R. Jones returned to duty on September 7 after recuperating from a wound.

[4] Lewis H. Steiner, Report of Lewis H. Steiner, Inspector of the Sanitary Commission Containing a Diary Kept During the Rebel Occupation of Frederick, MD, and an Account of the Operations of the U.S. Sanitary Commission During the Campaign in Maryland, September, 1862 (New York, 1862), p. 8. Steiner’s estimate of Jones’s strength proved to be remarkably accurate as roster returns for the division totaled 5,578 men at the outset of the Confederate invasion. See D. Scott Hartwig, To Antietam Creek: The Maryland Campaign of September 1862 (Baltimore, 2012), p. 679.

[5] “A large portion of the army had marched through the city and went into camp a few miles to the north, at Worman’s mill, the main body encamping at Frederick Junction, on the Baltimore side of the Monocacy Bridge.” Thomas J. C. Williams and Folger McKinsey, History of Frederick County, Maryland, Volume 1 (Baltimore, 1997 & 2003), p. 377. “The command passed through Frederick and camped in the woods north of town.” Robert J. Driver, Jr., & Kevin C. Ruffner, 1st Battalion Virginia Infantry, 39th Battalion Virginia Cavalry, and 24th Battalion Virginia Partisan Rangers (Lynchburg, 1996), p. 28. “Col. Johnson led the brigade to Worman’s Woods, just north of Frederick, Maryland.” John D. Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, 1983), p. 25.

[6] Report of John R. Jones, January 21, 1863 in The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (Washington, 1887), Series 1, Vol. 19, Part 1, pp. 1006-07. Referred to hereafter as the Official Records (OR). Johnson named Lieutenant Lewis Randolph as town Provost Marshal during the occupation. See Driver & Ruffner, 1st Battalion Virginia Infantry, p. 28 and Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry, p. 25.

[7] Report of Major H. J. Williams for Winder’s Brigade, January 15, 1863 in OR 1, 19, pt. 1, pp. 1010ff. Also see the Report of Colonel Leroy A. Stafford for Starke’s Brigade, January 21, 1863 in OR, 1, 19, pt. 1, pp. 1014f and Henry Kyd Douglas, I Rode With Stonewall (Chapel Hill, 1940), p. 148. “On the morning of the 6th of September (sic), General Jackson’s command—with the exception of his old division—which went through Frederick City and encamped on the Emmittsburg Road—went into camp about Monocacy Junction.”

[8] Williams and McKinsey, History of Frederick County, p. 377.

[9] Lieutenant General Jubal Anderson Early, C. S. A., Autobiographical Sketch and Narrative of the War Between the States (Philadelphia, 1912), p. 135. “Jackson’s division took position near the city, and Hill’s and Ewell’s near the Junction, which is about three miles from the city in the direction of Washington. Ewell’s division covered the railroad and the approaches from the direction of Baltimore, and Hill’s those from the direction of Washington.”

[10] Distances have been calculated from the address 27 North Market Street to the vicinities of Worman’s mill, the Monocacy River crossing on the Old National Pike, and the Monocacy National Battlefield.

[11] Steiner, Report, pp. 8-9. Williams, OR 1, 19, pt. 1, p. 1011. “Our short sojourn in the land of promise wrought a salutary change in the general appearance and condition of the troops. The ragged were clad, the shoeless shod, and the inner man rejoiced by a number and variety of delicacies to which it had been a stranger for long, long weary months before.” Also Edward A. Moore, The Story of a Cannoneer Under Stonewall Jackson (New York and Washington, 1907), p. 131. “Our apparel was now in sad plight.”

[12] Frank M. Mixson, Reminiscences of a Private (Columbia, 1910), p. 26. The italicization of “quick marching” is Mixson’s.

[13] Moore, Story of a Cannoneer, p. 131.

[14] “The first 8 or 10 thousand [rebels] got a tolerable good supply of clothing & shoes & boots but the stores & shops were soon sold out.” William R. Quynn (ed.), The Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht, 1840-1882 (Frederick, 2001), p. 948.

[15] “[Winder’s] brigade marched through Frederick and camped two miles from the town on the Emmittsburg road. Here they were assigned supplies of shoes and clothing.” Lee A. Wallace, Jr., 5th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, 1988), p. 41.

[16] Lee’s orders did not state a specific time for departure, stipulating only that “The army will resume its march to-morrow, taking the Hagerstown Road. General Jackson’s command will form the advance.” See Hartwig, To Antietam Creek, p. 122.

[17] Draughton Stith Haynes, The Field Diary of a Confederate Soldier: While Serving with the Army of Northern Virginia, C. S. A. (Darien, 1963), p. 16-17. “Wednesday, September 10th, 1862. This morning we left our camping ground about three o’clock.” Also see Charles W. Turner (ed.), Captain Greenlee Davidson, C.S.A. Diary & Letters, 1851-1863 (Verona, 1975), pp. 47f and the Diary of Michael Schuler, Library of Congress, cited in Hartwig, To Antietam Creek, p. 702, note 88. Jedediah Hotchkiss, Make Me a Map of the Valley: The Civil War Journal of Stonewall Jackson’s Topographer. Ed. Archie McDonald (Dallas, 1973). “We started before day 3 A.M. and cross the South Mountain (Blue Ridge) at Braddock’s Gap and encamped, on the western slope, near Boonsboro.” Notice that Hotchkiss does not write “the army” started the day. He rode with the headquarters detachment meaning that his sentence probably referred to Jackson and his entourage rather than the army itself. Lastly, see Steiner, Report, p. 19.

[18] “Paxton to Branch,” September 10, 1862 in OR 1, 19, pt. 2, p. 604. Italics are mine – AR

[19] Bradley T. Johnson, “The Fable of Barbara Fritchie,” in Southern Historical Society Papers, v. 12 (Richmond, 1884), p. 515. Cited hereafter as SHSP. Also see Douglas, I Rode with Stonewall, p. 151.

[20] Douglas, I Rode with Stonewall, p. 151. For the time of sunrise see Joseph L. Harsh, Sounding the Shallows: A Confederate Companion for the Maryland Campaign of 1862 (Kent, OH & London, 2000), p. 12.

[21] “Letter from Jubal A. Early” in SHSP, v. 7 (Richmond, 1879), p. 436. Letter dated Lynchburg, April 26, 1875. Italics mine – AR. SHSP, v. 7 (Richmond, 1879), p. 436. Letter dated Lynchburg, April 26, 1875. Italics mine – AR.

[22] Gordon McCabe, “The Real Barbara Frietchie,” in SHSP, v.27 (Richmond, 1899), p. 288. Italics mine – AR.

[23] The average walking speed for a horse is 4 mph. The average trotting speed is between 8 and 12 mph. Assuming Jackson used a combination of both it likely took him between 15 and 30 minutes to ride from Best’s Grove to downtown Frederick. Evidence exists that Jackson may have been on the move even earlier than Douglas’s estimate of “about sunrise.” According to the note Jackson is alleged to have left for Dr. Ross the time of his arrival at the doctor’s house was 5:15 a.m. See John Michael Priest, Before Antietam: The Battle for South Mountain (Shippensburg, 1992), p. 60. I have chosen not to reference this time because there is some argument about the extant note’s authenticity. See Joe Ryan, The Thomas Stonewall Jackson & Reverend Dr. John B. Ross Connection Revisited online at The pertinent point remains that Jackson’s troops moved through Frederick after the sun had already come up.

[24] D. F. Carraway, “Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill: Some Reminiscences of the Famous Virginia Commander,” in SHSP, v. 19 (Richmond, 1891), p. 180. “We were breaking camp at early dawn—in fact, before dawn. Our wagons, with the headquarter wagon driver by a noble son of the Emerald Isle, were to take the lead on the road.”

[25] We know Branch’s men arrived first and took the lead out of Frederick because the sources make the column’s marching order clear. See Ezra A. Carman, Maryland Campaign of September 1862: Volume 1, South Mountain. Thomas G. Clemens (ed.) (Kindle Locations 4279-4282). Casemate Publishers. Kindle Edition. “Jackson left his bivouac, near Frederick early on the morning of the 10th, passed through Frederick and Middletown and, with the divisions of A. P. Hill (i.e., Branch) and Jackson (i.e., Jones), went over Turner’s Gap and bivouacked one mile from Boonsboro; Ewell’s (i.e., Lawton’s) Division bivouacking between Middletown and the Gap.” Also Hartwig, To Antietam Creek, pp. 712f, notes 41, 44, and 48 in which he cites three diaries noting Branch’s (Hill’s) division led the way.

“At sunrise … [Winder’s] brigade marched to Boonsborough.” Wallace, 5th Virginia Infantry, p. 41. A source for Jones’s division notes, “they broke camp early on the morning of September 10, and marched into Frederick with Tolliver’s (i.e., Taliaferro’s) brigade in the lead.” See “Mr. James L. Parsons Makes a Contribution To The Barbara Fritchie Discussion,” in The Baltimore Sun, November 12, 1913: “[This brigade] marched through Frederick on the morning of the 10th of September about daylight from a camp about two and a half miles north of Frederick, down Market street to the Hagerstown pike.” Also see James L. Parsons cited in Eleanor D. Abbott, A Sketch of Barbara Fritchie, Whittier’s Heroine (Frederick, 1928), p. 15. According to a man who marched with Jackson the troops in Taliaferro’s brigade pronounced his name as ‘Tolliver.’ See James H. Wood, The War: “Stonewall” Jackson: His Campaigns and Battles, the Regiment as I Saw Them (Cumberland, 1910), p. 39.

[27] Abbott, A Sketch, p. 15. Parsons’s recollection of this marching order is cited twice by Abbott. Once in the November 12, 1913 letter to The Baltimore Sun and once in a letter to a Mrs. Samuel Grafton Duvall. Parsons wrote that he belonged to the 23rd

Virginia, but there is no record of a James L. Parsons on the roster of the 23rd or of any other regiment in Taliaferro’s brigade. My italics – AR.

[28] Jones also probably collected Bradley Johnson’s detached brigade here from its bivouac on South Market Street, but there is no evidence to determine this one way or another.

[29] Carraway, “Lieutenant-General A. P. Hill,” p. 130 makes clear that Jones’s division came second in the marching order after Branch’s.

[30] Williams and McKinsey, History of Frederick County, p. 378.

[31] See Joseph L. Harsh, Taken at the Flood: Robert E. Lee and Confederate Strategy in the Maryland Campaign of 1862 (Kent, OH & London, 1999), p. 532 for a brief discussion of the Barbara Frietchie incident.

[32] “Letter from Mrs. Frietchie’s nephew,” in SHSP, v. 7 (Richmond, 1879), p. 439. My italics –AR

[33] Hartwig, To Antietam Creek, p. 679 lists the strength of Taliaferro’s brigade as 1,543 men.

[34] Report of Col. Allison Brown, 149th Regiment of the Ohio National Guard, July 14, 1864 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 216. “At 4 p.m. on the 8th instant received orders from the general commanding to withdraw my men [from Frederick] and fall back on the Baltimore Pike toward Monocacy bridge.” The last federal cavalry evacuated the city at 2 o’clock in the morning on Saturday, July 9. See Report of Lieutenant Colonel David R. Clendenin, July 14, 1862 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 220.

[35] The six o’clock arrival time of Early’s column is found in Quynn, Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht, p. 998. We know from Douglas, I Rode With Stonewall, p. 293 that Ramseur’s division led Early’s advance: “Ramseur’s division … reached Frederick first … on the 9th. I took command of the skirmishers and was the first horseman in town.” The marching order of Lilley then Johnston can be found Brett W. Spaulding, Last Chance for Victory: Jubal Early’s 1864 Maryland Invasion (2010), p. 78. Spaulding mistakenly includes William Lewis’s brigade with Ramseur’s advance.

[36] Quynn, Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht, p. 998. “About 8 AM on Saturday [July 9] their wagon train commenced passing through town & it lasted 4 or 5 hours. 4 or 500 wagons must have passed.” See also Early, Memoir, p. 58. “Breckenridge’s command, with the trains, was in … between Frederick and the [Monocacy] Junction.”

[37] There also exists the slim possibility that at least a portion of Gordon’s command skirted around Frederick before entering the city. I. G. Bradwell, a veteran of Gordon’s division, recalled almost sixty years later: “before we reached the city [of Frederick], the head of our column turned to the right and took a road that led off in a southerly direction. This we followed some distance and then turned toward the east, crossing a creek before we reached the [Monocacy] river.” See Confederate Accounts at the back of Glenn H. Worthington, Fighting for Time: The Battle of Monocacy (Shippensburg, 1985), no page number given.

[38] Report of Major General John B. Gordon, July 22, 1864 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 350. “About 2:30 p.m. July 9 I was ordered by Major-General Breckenridge, commanding corps, to move my division to the right and cross the Monocacy.”

[39] Early, Memoir, pp. 58f. “Echol’s (sic) division which had been left to guard the trains, was ordered up during the engagement, but was not needed.” Echols left the 22nd Virginia to guard the train. See Terry D. Lowry, 22nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, 1988), p. 67.

[40] “Echols’ Division, which had been guarding the wagon trains, marched rapidly to the front.” James A. Davis, 51st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, 1984), p. 30. “Arriving at the imminent battleground Breckenridge’s Division was posted east of Ballenger Creek, to the rear of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad … the division was primarily held in reserve, with Patton’s Brigade on the left, Smith in the center, and Wharton on the right.” Terry D. Lowry, 26th Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, 1991), p. 53.

[41] See Report of F. W. Alexander, Baltimore Battery of Light Artillery, July 13, 1864 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 224. “Finally, about 3 p.m. our troops made a charge and drove [the rebels] back, and they then uncovered their forces and came on, in three lines, and forced our troops to retreat.” Also see Report of Col. William Emerson, 155th New York Infantry, July 12, 1864 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 205. “At about 3:30 p.m., under cover of their artillery, the enemy came down upon us with a heavy skirmish line, and two lines of battle.”

[42] Early, Memoir, p. 57.

[43] Walter Clark (ed.), Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War 1861 –‘65 (Goldsboro, 1901), p. 419.

[44] The four regiments in question are the 6th, 21st, 54th, and 57th North Carolina.

[45] Clark, Histories, p. 419. “It fell to the lot of the brigade to care for the wounded of that battle and to have them removed to Frederick.” Early reported leaving “about 400” wounded behind in Frederick. See Report of General Jubal Early, July 14, 1864 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 349.

[46] Edward S. Delaplane, “General Early’s Levy on Frederick,” in The 100th Anniversary of the Battle of Monocacy (Frederick, 1964), p. 49.

[47] David J. Lewis, Frederick War Claim: Evidence and Argument in Support of Bill to Refund Ransom Paid by the Town of Frederick, During the Civil War, to Save Said Town and Union Military Supplies from Destruction (Frederick, no date), p. 5. Referred to hereafter as Frederick War Claim. Italics are mine, emphasizing Early’s insistence that he would just as happily take goods as cash for payment.

[48] Journal of William Allan cited in B. Franklin Cooling, Monocacy: The Battle that Saved Washington (Shippensburg, 1997), p. 97.

[49] Report of Major General Lew Wallace, August 1864 in OR 37, pt. 1, p. 196. “From 9 o’clock to 10:30 the action was little more than a warm skirmish and experimental cannonading … about 10.30 o’clock the enemy’s first line of battle (i.e., McCausland’s dismounted cavalry) made its appearance and moved against Ricketts.”

[50] See Wallace report cited in note 49. Early, Memoir, p. 58. “The enemy’s position was too strong, and the difficulties of crossing the Monocacy under fire too great, to attack in front without greater loss than I was willing to incur. I therefore made an examination in person to find a point at which the river could be crossed, so as to take the enemy in flank. While I was engaged in making this examination to my right, I discovered McCausland in the act of crossing the river with his brigade.”

[51] The Pendleton story originates in Delaplane, “General Early’s Levy,” p. 53. It has been repeated over the years with no documentary source offered by Delaplane as confirmation. Until a documented source is found the information must be considered hearsay.

[52] Specifically, the Frederick Town Savings Institution, which paid $64,000, and the Franklin Savings Bank, which paid $31,000. See Isaac Bond, Map of Frederick County ca. 1858 located online at The other banks contributing to the levy included the Central Bank ($44,000), the Frederick County Bank ($33,000), and the Farmers and Mechanics Bank ($28,000). Delaplane, “General Early’s Levy,” p. 53.

[53] Delaplane, “General Early’s Levy,” p. 54. Here Delaplane actually quotes from his source, writing that Pendleton and the others, “celebrated the success of their levy in Frederick by ‘gorging themselves on ice cream, the rarest of delicacies’,” but he does not cite the source itself. Jed Hotchkiss notes in Make Me a Map, p. 215: “I dined, with several, in the city.” George Buckey of Frederick witnessed the levy’s hand-off to Early’s staff. “He was sitting on the City Hall steps when they (i.e., the Confederates) got the money and saw them come down with it.” Lewis, Frederick War Claim, p. 37.

[54] Quynn, Diary of Jacob Engelbrecht, p. 998.

[55] Letter of Elihu H. Rockwell of Frederick to Mrs. Eliza Graham Coleman, July 25, 1864 in “Civil War Letters of E. H. Rockwell,” Frederick Historical Society.

[56] Lewis, Frederick War Claim, p. 36.

[57] Ibid., p. 38.

[58] Ibid., p. 6.

[59] Even the presence of a sizeable cavalry force in Frederick is questionable. With John McCausland’s cavalry brigade engaged on the Monocacy and Bradley Johnson’s brigade riding east on a mission to liberate Confederate prisoners at Point Lookout, Maryland, Early’s remaining two brigades under Colonel George H. Smith and Colonel William L. Jackson were engaged elsewhere. Smith, for example, only “reached Early’s advance on July 9, just after he had defeated Federal Major General Lew Wallace at the battle of Monocacy (i.e., 4 o’clock).” Richard B. Kleese, 23rd Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, 1996), p. 32. Jackson, meanwhile, spilt his command into detachments before Early’s army arrived in Frederick on July 9. These detachments collected in Frederick over the course of the day. See Richard L. Armstrong, 19th and 20th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, 1994), p. 57. Early suggests Jackson’s detachments were used that day to guard the western approaches to Frederick against “a force of federal cavalry which had followed [the army] from Maryland Heights.” See Early, Memoir, p. 58.

[60] Lewis, Frederick War Claim, p. 15.

[61] Ibid., p. 35

[62] James I. Robertson, 4th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, 1982), p. 32.

[63] Bolcik, et al., “Confederates in Frederick,” p. 11.