Can you ID this Civil War soldier or his regiment?
A Cannonball reader from Wrightsville, Pennsylvania, sent me a scan of this old photograph from a private collection. It may depict one of the Pennsylvania militiamen who was guarding the Columbia Bridge at Wrightsville during the Gettysburg Campaign, a mile-and-a-quarter-long wooden covered bridge which was set on fire by civilians under the militia’s direction and orders as they retreated.
The reader wonders from the inscription on the reverse side and the photographer’s mark if the soldier is one of the bridge burners. The name appears to be Vance, and a Nathaniel M. Vance served in the 20th Pennsylvania Volunteer Militia, which manned the trenches north of Wrightsville. However, the name does not appear to match Vance’s middle initial (if the last name indeed is Vance on the CDV).
If any readers are familiar with the styles and cuts of Civil War uniforms and headgear, and can verify which regiment (or state) this gentleman is from, that would be appreciated. The assumption that this man was involved in the Wrightsville bridge burning is not certain, but likely from the location. However, other regiments burned other bridges during the war (for example the 14th New Jersey at Monocacy in 1864).
Here is the back of the old CDV.
Please note that these photographs are property of the private owner, and may not be copied or further distributed or disseminated. Used on the York Daily Record’s Cannonball blog by written permission.