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Title [Portraits, Grand Army of the Republic]
Object Name Print, Photographic
Date ca. 1890
Description Photograph collection consisting of portraits of members of the Grand Army of the Republic: group of 51 B&W cabinet card photographs; all are individual portraits of men, most in uniform with "GAR" insignia on their hats; most wear a ribbon on their coats with inscription "R.G. SHAW / POST NO. 112 / Dep't of N.Y. / NATIONAL / ENCAMPMENT / BOSTON / 1890." All but 3 were photographed by Koenig, as identified by a printed inscription below the image: "KOENIG, PHOTO-ARTIST, NEW BRIGHTON, / STATEN ISLAND." One is printed "Kesses, 109 EIGHTH AVE., / Bet. 15th & 16th Sts. New York"; one is printed on the reverse: "Strawson / PHOTOGRAPHIC / ARTIST, / MAIN STREET, / NORTHPORT, L.I.;" and one printed on reverse: "LOEFFLER'S / PORTRAIT GALLERY / BAY ST., COR. GRANT, / TOMPKINSVILLE / S.I." Only a few of the photographs have identifying inscriptions: the Strawson photo has a handwritten inscription on reverse: "M.T. Burke / Dept. of N.Y. / Senior Vice of 426 GAR / & Post Commander [or Past Commander] / Also Past Commander [or Post Commander] / of T.F. Meagher Post 88 / Disbanded." The Kesses photo has a handwritten inscription on the reverse: "[Com]pliments to George Bowman." One Koenig photo has a handwritten inscription on the reverse: "Sincerely Yours. John S. Lawton." One of the unidentified men is holding a United States flag with fringed edges.
(Keywords: New York)
Acquisition Gift of the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences
Ownership and History These photographs came to the Staten Island Historical Society in 1959 from the Staten Island Institute of Arts and Sciences (Staten Island Museum). They were identified as photos of members of the Robert G. Shaw Post G.A.R., acquired as a gift of I. Meyerswich.

The G. A. R., a national organization of Civil War Veterans, was founded in 1866 and reached its peak of membership in 1890, around the time these photographs were created.

The Grand Army of the Republic post to which most of these men seem to have belonged--the R. G. Shaw Post 112--was located in New Brighton, Staten Island. It was named for Robert Gould Shaw, the well-known commander of the 54th Regiment, who had resided in nearby Livingston. The 54th, a noted regiment of African-American troops, lost its commander and a number of men in the assault on Battery Wagner in 1863.

One of the portrait subjects is identified as M. T. Burke, associated with the Thomas F. Meagher Post of the GAR (located in Tompkinsville, Staten Island) as well as post number 426 (probably the Samuel Ackerly Post of Northport, Long Island).
Earliest Date 1885
Latest Date 1895
Subjects Veterans
Fraternal lodges
Fraternal organizations
Military uniforms
Civil wars
Lexicon Sub-category Documentary Artifact
Catalog Number 59.009.0008
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Staten Island Historical Society, 2011.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.