The Photographic History of the Civil War
                  Volume 7 -
Prisons and Hospitals



Men Who Policed the Federals—Provost-Marshals of the Third Army Corps, December, 1863

It was not until 1863 that Negro troops were enlisted in the Union army. Properly led, they made excellent soldiers, but there were times, like that shown in this photograph, when they were difficult to handle. In idleness they always deteriorated in discipline. The accompanying photograph, taken after the fall of Vicksburg, shows one of the punishments inflicted on soldiers who had committed breaches of discipline. They were set astride of a plank six inches wide and forced to remain in this position, which was neither comfortable nor dignified, for two or three hours under guard. The Negro guard, clothed with a little temporary authority over his fellows, is apparently swelling with importance. The two Negro soldiers "riding the sawbuck" look apathetic, but it is doubtful if they are enjoying themselves to any great extent.

"Riding the Sawbuck" at the Vicksburg Guard-House

page 191  in 1911 book

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More Civil War Material:
American Civil War Anecdotes, Incidents and Articles.

This online edition of The Photographic History of the Civil War includes improved images using digital images from the Library of Congress, when available. It also includes additional images that are either cropped from the Library of Congress digital images or are related to the specific topic being discussed in the article or page.

Volume 7 of the History is the first volume I'm publishing online simply because it was the one I was interested in when I decided to publish.

More to come, I hope.


Copyright © 2004 Michael P. Goad  All rights reserved.