Outdoor CDV Image of Lt. Henry H. Humphreys and Cartographer F.W. Vaughan at Harrison’s Landing


Rare Outdoor CDV Size Image of Lt. Henry H. Humphreys and Fellow Cartographer F.W. Vaughan at Harrison’s Landing in 1862 – This is a rare outdoor image of then Lt. Henry H. Humphreys and fellow engineer and cartographer F.W. Vaughan, taken at Harrison’s Landing in July, 1862, when these men, along with a group of other engineers and cartographers, were completing various reconnaissance missions and resultant mapping of the areas surrounding the landing, in 1862. Accompanying this image are two others of F.W. Vaughan, who would, in the 1880s, become a respected officer in the American Society of Civil Engineers; the CDVs of Vaughan are both war period images; one is dated 1862 and one dated 1864, on the back of the images; one CDV shows a bust-shot of Vaughan, while the other depicts a full body image. In both of these images, Vaughan is wearing typical, mid-19th century, civilian garb.

The Harrison’s Landing image of Lt. Humphreys and Vaughan, shows Humphreys wearing a four-button, officer’s fatigue blouse and what appears to be a straw hat; Vaughan, in a civilian sack coat, is wearing a smoking cap. The image appears to have been taken in camp, as Vaughan is sitting on a typical, war period, folding camp stool and is holding a pipe in his right hand. On the back of this image, which has no back mark, is written, in period pencil, “July 1862 Harrison’s Bay, Va  Henry H & J.W.V.” The image has been trimmed along the vertical edges, to fit into a CDV album – most likely into a Vaughan family album, as all of the images, both Vaughan (also devoid of back marks, but untrimmed) and Humphreys / Vaughan images were encased in a pages from a CDV album. One of the pages is still intact and has labels that state the image above is “F.W. Vaughan & Harry Humphreys Harrisons Bay Virginia 7-62”. The outdoor image of Humphreys and Vaughan does have a very small tear in the upper left corner
of the image, with a very slight removal of the image, without impacting the appearance of either man.

Lt. Humphreys, son of well-known Union Gen. A.A. Humphreys, enlisted on 10/3/1862 as a 1st Lieutenant.  On 10/3/1862, he was commissioned into “A” Co. PA 2nd Heavy Artillery  He was discharged, for promotion, on 4/5/1865. On 4/5/1865, he was commissioned into the US Volunteers as an Aide-De-Camp, later mustering out of service on 11/10/1865.  Humphreys would return to service in the US Army from 02/23/1866 until retiring on 05/25/1899. Humphreys’ record of promotions is as follows: Captain 8/1/1864, by Brevet;  Major 3/13/1865, by Brevet; Major 4/5/1865 (Major & Aide-de-Camp).

In the Report of Brig. Gen. Andrew A. Humphreys, U. S. Army, Chief of Topographical Engineers, written from the HEADQUARTERS THIRD DIVISION, FIFTH CORPS, on February 20, 1863, the General mentions that in the Spring of 1862:

“Reconnaissances were likewise made of the enemy’s several positions—at and near Yorktown, on the Chickahominy, and on the approach to Richmond from that stream, and also of the positions occupied by our army at Yorktown, on the Chickahominy, and at Harrison’s Landing. From these reconnaissances detailed maps of the scene of operations were prepared, multiplied by photography, and distributed to the commanders and staff officers of the various subdivisions of the army.” General Humphreys also states in this report that: “Those who served more permanently under my orders were, Lieut. Col. W. R. Palmer, Capt. H. L. Abbot, First Lieuts. Orlando G. Wagner and N. Bowen, Topographical Engineers; Lieut. George A. Custer, Fifth Cavalry; Capt. James Hope, Second Vermont Volunteers; First Lieut. Carswell McClellan, New York Volunteers; Messrs. F. W. Dorr and J. W. Donn, assistants United States Coast Survey; Messrs. Fred. Churchill, F. W. Vaughn, H. H. Humphreys, Walter Taylor, civil engineers, and Mr. James McMackin, draughtsman.

After the war, Humphreys continued his army career and was directly involved in the trial of William Bonney, better remembered as the infamous “Billy the Kid”. In the chapter discussing the trial of the Billy the Kid, in The Billy the Kid Reader By Frederick W. Nolan, Captain Henry H. Humphreys is listed as the recorder of the court during the inquiry. Nolan states that: “To clarify matters: the *recorder* (Capt. *Henry H*. *Humphreys*) was in effect the prosecutor, assisted by Lew Wallace’s friend and amanuensis Ira E. Leonard.”

This is a very historical and unusual grouping of Civil War CDVs.