Outside The Barracks

In this 1861 photograph, Union troops pose in front of and on top of their barracks. Signs on the walls indicate the men belong to their regiment's Company I. The soldiers in front are playing cards with the company drummer.

Bass saxhorn

Bass saxhorn

Musician's sword n HAD K

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Musician's sword


Card playing became a huge camp fad in both armies, even when the men had nothing to bet with except uniform buttons. But many soldiers would throw away their cards before going into battle. If they were killed in the fight, they did not want their relatives to know they had been pursuing the "sin" of gambling.

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