Winter quarters at Brandy Station
During the Civil War, soldiers and officers spent a great deal of time at camps such as the one in this photograph, taken of officers of the 1st Brigade, Horse Artillery, at their winter quarters at Brandy Station, Virginia in February 1864. The eastern theater of the war had witnessed the Battle of Brandy Station on June 9, 1863, which was technically a Confederate victory. However, the battle demonstrated that the Union cavalry had improved greatly since the beginning of the war. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported on battles and movements of troops at the front.
Women were involved in all areas of the Civil War. The role of the woman in this photograph is unknown, but it is probable that she worked to support the troops in some fashion. Thousands of women came to the camps as nurses, and some even worked on the battlefields. Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross, is the most famous example of a woman who worked for the Union army as a nurse on the battlefields. Even in the rustic environment of the camps, women still wore the full dresses that were the standard costume for women at the time.
The following articles from the Brooklyn Daily Eagle present reports from the Army:
"From General Meade's Army" (August 7, 1863)
"Meade's and Lee's Armies" (October 17, 1863)
"Recent Army Movements" (November 12, 1863)
Citation - Document 61
Courtesy Library of Congress, Reproduction no. LC-B8171-7582 DLC