magyar moon

magyar moon

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


Faded photographs, ghosts of the Civil War. I am haunted by these portraits - forgotten soldiers, some disturbingly young, hardly more than boys.

A sweet melancholy lingers with the freshness of youth on their faces, a sadness still echos through the dusty distance of time....

 A startlingly young unknown soldier

Official Civil War records indicate that
100,000 soldiers were 15 years old or younger.
300 soldiers were 13 years old or younger.
25 were 10 years old or under.
This doesn't account for others who were never officially documented.

 There's a poignant vulnerability in the face of this unknown soldier

 Ephriam Kale
enlisted at age 15


Samuel H. Dunscoms
3rd Battalion
Tennessee Infantry



 Confederate Soldier
with plumed slouch hat
and English snake belt

Simon J. Crews


with artillery cap

with musket and bowie knife 

Thomas William Smith


 Calvin J.C.Munroe


Silas Coster
lost a leg in battle
died of blood poisoning



Private William H. Rockwell

 Unknown soldier
in Union uniform
with bayonet and musket
(above and below)


 Cementous Cochran
died in battle in 1864
age 18
buried in Tennessee

Drummer Boy


  1. they were told the war would last a few weeks. and I wonder if private rockwell is any relation of dr. spo's.

  2. Used to be involved in Civil War reenactments with someone I once loved. and saw many authentic Matthew Brady photographs of the war. The faces of these young men you have here are haunting and speak to the tragedy of it.

  3. As happens too often, a children's crusade.

  4. You knew I'd be immediately engaged by your title, didn't you? Because I felt this would be poignant, I deliberately waited to come home and open this post.
    Their resolute expressions are heartbreaking ... so much they might have become, were it not for the War of Northern Aggression. (Oops, I couldn't help myself!)

    1. Reminds me of that splendid song, "One Tin Soldier."

  5. not in Civil War
    of course
    but I think my Dad
    lied about his age
    to join the army
    which I've read
    others did too

  6. So wretched when mature men get little more than children to fight battles on the men's behalf. But it's been so for all history, I suppose. Only recently have we, or some of us, woken up to the (to put it mildly) blatant injustice of it all.

  7. My Uncle Teddy lied or the recruiter looked the other way to join the US Navy at 15 in 1940. He killed himself with alcohol 24 years later. I think he didn't know how to live without the discipline and responsibility of a military life.

  8. These make me think of the old Buffy St Marie song, Universal Soldier.

  9. I hope the majority of these young men survived the war. Your statistics as to their ages is haunting. I know the majority of the military is made up of young people but in this particular case I was wondering if it is because the U.S. was fairly young and perhaps didn't have a large population of "older" men. This has nothing to do with your posting but I believe Congress recently enacted a law making women now draft eligible. I wonder if that's what the ERA had in mind?

  10. These are haunting! They never thought the war would last long. I'm sure they never expected to see the carnage that they did. No sitting at a computer with a drone for them. So sad. I hate wars...and there are always wars going someplace on this earth. It never ends.

  11. Old photographs have an eerie way of capturing a moment in time that far surpasses what we can do with modern equipment. I'm not sure what it is, but whatever it is, old pics almost seem to capture the soul of the people in them. Something about the eyes... haunting.

    Ten-year-old soldiers. How horrifying.