Cabinet card copy of a tintype photograph depicting First Lieutenant Robert Chester Crouch, 19th Tennessee Infantry Regiment, Company B, Walker's Battalion, taken by C. B. Smith of Bristol, Tennessee, while they were prisoners of war at Johnson's Island Prison, Sandusky Bay, Ohio, 1864. Inscription above the photograph describes when he made the black metal ring and that it was presented to "F.W. Taylor (2d) May 11, 1910 No. 683" with inscription below reading "yours truly Robt. C Crouch" with later erroneous Taylor family member inscription reading "1st Lieut. Co. F. 34th Va Cavalry." Ink inscription on a piece of paper pasted to the back of the card describes the lengths that Smith took in order to take photographs while in prison "This is the copy of a picture taken whilst I was a prisoner in 1864 of war at Johnson's Island Ohio, by G. B. Smith of Bristol Tenn Mr Smith carried his lense[sic] with him as a soldier & on being taken to prison he need it taking pictures. This is one of them. This lense[sic] was [housed] in a Tobacco box with short strips nailed on box for legs The chemicals used were smuggled in by the Yankee soldiers–His Gallery was about 20 feet of the Garret od Block 3–One could not stand upright on account of the roof. The only light from one 8×10 glass–He had no facilities for developing the pictures…paid $1.50 for a chance for a picture…A sitting was an undertaking for on account of meager light on it. Required about fifteen minutes to take an impression. The original has faded…" signed Robt. C Crouch Morristown May 7 1907, with erroneous 1st Lt. Co. H. 37th Va Cav inscription, presumably made by a Taylor family member. Also includes photocopies of Crouch's obituary in the Confederate Veteran, muster rolls, and other documents. 6" H x 4 3/8" W. Provenance: Estate of Anne Harrison Taylor & Joseph F. Taylor, Morristown, TN. Biography: Robert Chester Crouch was born at Jonesboro, TN, on April 14, 1844. He enlisted at the beginning of the Civil War as a private of Company B, 19th Tennessee Regiment, of which he was elected 1st lieutenant, this company being a part of Walker's battalion. Francis M. Walker became colonel of the regiment, and this "fighting 19th Tennessee" followed General Felix Kirk Zollicoffer in his Kentucky campaign, was with Albert Sidney Johnston at Shiloh, with Braxton Bragg at Murfreesboro, Chickamauga, and Missionary Ridge, then with Joseph E. Johnston to Atlanta, where Colonel Walker was killed; and with Otho French Strahl at Franklin, then again with Johnston to the surrender in North Carolina. Young Crouch was captured on September 11, 1863, shortly before the Battle of Chickamauga, and was sent to Johnson's Island, where he remained a prisoner to the end of the war. During his imprisonment, a comrade used a makeshift picture equipment and made a picture of Crouch in his uniform, which was reproduced in the magazine Confederate Veteran, Vol. XVII, January 1909, page 29, with the story of how it was made on tin from an oyster can. After the war, Crouch returned home and followed farming for the greater part of his life, being a successful farmer of Hamblen County. He retired years later and made his home in Morristown, TN. He was a member of the W.B. Tate Camp, United Confederate Veterans, and served several years on the State Board of Pensions. He was was twice married and had one daughter. He died on May 2, 1931 in Morristown. (source: Confederate Veteran, Vol. XL, 1932. Research courtesy of William Floyd, Mt. Juliet, TN). CONDITION: Some fading, wear to the photograph and card. Writing in legible condition. Corners and edges of paper, largest 3 1/4", are seperating from the back of card.
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