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Posted By: Dave Gaddy on: 05/20/2005 07:16:10 EDT
Subject: RE: Field Glasses (Gen. Lee's)

Message Detail:
Mike, allowing for some distortion for the repro and angle, those field glasses look somewhat smaller than the picture I cited. Maybe it's an illusion (esp. if the caption attributes the set-up to the Museum of the Confederacy).
But this also serves to point up another problem, and that is whether an item of this nature was available in the narrow period of 1861-1865 that we concentrate on. (No problem if prior to--the problem is with AFTER.) If, for example, Gen. Lee--as President of Washington College in the decade after the war--were given a pair of field glasses, and these later were donated to a museum as "Gen. Lee's," that would be truthful--but misleading for those of us wanting to know about wartime. (I know--I'm preaching to the choir, but we keep getting new choir members.) By contrast, if the item belonged, say, to TJ Jackson (-1863) or JEB Stuart (-1864) we would presume it was representative of the war era to that date. And we also have to remember that, during a long life, some of these fellows just might have had more than one pair!
And so the work goes on. Ain't this fun?
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