Confederate Major Fontaine R. Earle, during a Reunion of the 34th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, likely at Parks Grove, near Cane Hill, Arkansas, and ca. 1895-1905. Major Earle moved to Cane Hill, Arkansas, in 1859, after receiving a formal education, and soon became president of the Cane Hill College, and a Presbyterian Minister. When War broke in 1861, Earle first joined the Arkansas State Militia as a private, but by mid-1862, he mustered out, returned home to Cane Hill, and raised Company B, of the 34th Arkansas. By the war's end, Earle served as Major of the regiment. Post War, Earle returned to Cane Hill College, and the Cane Hill Community, where his family remained prominent citizens as late as the 1950's.
Confederate Major Fontaine R. Earle, 34th Arkansas Infantry, CSA
The survivors of Company B, 34th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, ca. 1895-1905. I cut [digitally] Major Earle's Image from this albumen. Since Company B, was raised almost entirely from the Cane Hill area, and the Reunion Grounds were only two miles from town, this photo likely represents all the survivors. You can see that on the bottom of the mount, each man in the picture was identified ! [ That's the way we hope to find em ! ] The man standing with the long white beard is the Regimental Surgeon W.B. Welch. The man seated third from the left is William Smith Moore, and a few years ago, we set him a VA Stone. His brother's grandson, Leon Moore, graciously allowed us to detect his property on the Cane Hill Battlefield, for years.
Survivors of Company B, 34th Arkansas Regiment, CSA, at a Reunion near Cane Hill, Arkansas.
This is a different albumen, possibly made at the same Reunion, as the Company B image. This represents all the survivors of the entire 34th Arkansas Regiment, CSA. Although only a few individuals were identified on this image, many more were ID'd using their likenesses from the Company B albumen, and another image of the survivors of Company K, a few years later. The man that appears seated on the far right, is actually in a wheelchair. Again ca. 1895-1905, when nearly all the Reunions were held at Park's Grove, Arkansas, near Cane Hill. The 34th remained in the Trans-Mississippi Department for the duration of it's service, and took part in the battles of Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Helena, Arkansas, Little Rock, Arkansas, and Jenkin's Ferry, Arkansas, among others.
Survivors of the 34th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, CSA, at a Reunion ca. 1895-1905, near Cane Hill, Arkansas.
The survivors of Co. K, 34th Arkansas Infantry, CSA, ca. 1905-1916, at a Reunion on the old Prairie Grove Battlefield. Each of these old soldiers is also identified with a very faded white number on the image itself, just below each man, and names on the back corresponding to each number. Probably the most prominent of these old soldiers is Sergeant Samuel Pittman on the far left with cane. Sergeant Pittman had been a resident of Prairie Grove prior to the war, and returned afterwards. He wrote several accounts of his service in the regiment, including one that was quite humorous, titled, " The Old Knapsack ".
Survivors of Co. K, 34th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, CSA, ca. 1905-1916, on the old Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Battlefield.
Closer view of Sergeant Samuel Pittman, and his comrades of Company K, 34th Arkansas Infantry. In his article, " The Old Knapsack " Pittman described receiving a brand new British Knapsack, while encamped at Spadra Bluffs, on the Arkansas River. He then proceeded to load it with everything but the kitchen sink, and his mess-mates began to bet him he could not carry it all the way to Washington County, Arkansas, some 75-80 miles away. With considerable effort he did, but during the opening shots of the Battle of Prairie Grove, a bullet clipped one of his packstraps, and the knapsack fell away, never to be seen again ! This image appears to have possibly been taken, just down the hill to the north, of the modern Prairie Grove Battlefield Museum.
Closer view of Sgt. Samuel Pittman and Comrades, Co. K, 34th Arkansas Infantry Regiment, ca. 1905-1916, on the old Prairie Grove, Arkansas, Battlefield.
Finally, here is a mystifying image ! Appears to be two rows of Old Vets, and the only writing on the back of the mount says, " Reunion of The Blue & Gray - Strickler." Strickler, Arkansas, is about 20 miles south of Fayetteville, and today a very small community. During the war, it was a spot in the road, and home to many southern sympathizers. Most families in the area had sons in the Confederate Army, though there were a very few Unionists. Two or three of the men in the image have a very unusual cane, with straight body, wrapped in dark ribbon, and with a ball top. No other identifying features in the photo, so I assume it is what it says, a Reunion of the Blue and Gray, in a primarily southern community. Guess stranger things have happened !
Reunion of the Blue & Gray, Strickler, Arkansas, date unknown.