previous next


‘And one was gray with rebels’ The photograph of Confederates on the Fredericksburg end of the ruined railroad bridge is one of the first telephoto photographs anywhere taken. On page 26, Volume I, of this history is reproduced a photograph made by climbing out along the portion of the bridge standing on the eastern bank of the river. At the left of this picture, the end of a bridge-beam is seen roughly projected against the brick wall. The photograph is proof of the friendly relations existing between the two armies encamped on opposite banks of the Rappahannock. Men in gray, both officer and private, are actually posing before the Federal camera. General Gordon says: ‘This rollicking sort of intercourse would have been alarming in its intimacy, but for the perfect confidence which the officers of both sides had in their men. Even officers on the opposite banks of this narrow stream would now and then declare a truce among themselves, in order that they might bathe in the little river. Where the water was shallow they would wade in and meet each other in the center and shake hands and “swap” newspapers and barter Southern tobacco for Yankee coffee. Where the water was deep so that they could not wade in and “swap,” they sent the articles of traffic across in miniature boats, laden on the southern shore with tobacco and sailed across to the Union side. These little boats were unloaded by the Union soldiers, reloaded, and sent back with Yankee coffee for the Confederates.’ He then tells of finding a Union soldier lying in the weeds, who said that he came across the river see the Johnnies for a little while, since there was no battle in progress. When General Gordon threatened to send the scantily clad visitor to prison, his own soldiers protested so stoutly that he allowed the ‘Yank’ to swim back to his camp.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Rappahannock (Virginia, United States) (1)

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
John B. Gordon (2)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: