Exhibitions/ Art Object

Laborers at Quartermaster's Wharf, Alexandria, Virginia

Artist:
Attributed to Andrew Joseph Russell (American, 1830–1902)
Former Attribution:
Formerly attributed to Mathew B. Brady (American, born Ireland, 1823?–1896 New York)
Date:
1863–65
Medium:
Albumen silver print from glass negative
Dimensions:
Image: 13.2 × 20.2 cm (5 3/16 × 7 15/16 in.)
Classification:
Photographs
Credit Line:
Harris Brisbane Dick Fund, 1933
Accession Number:
33.65.40
Not on view
The United States Quartermaster’s office managed the supply, warehousing, and distribution of food, fuel, ordnance, medical supplies, forage for animals, and even mail delivery for the army. This extraordinary view shows a group of emancipated slaves who worked as paid laborers for the army along the immense set of wharves at Alexandria, Virginia. One of the freedmen holds a carpenter’s square, one a barrel, the others coal shovels marked with United States Army initials. The workers moved commodities either into storage or onto wagons or railroad cars to be taken to the front.
Loyal Legion, Boston Chapter, Commandery of the State of Massachusetts

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