Little Bull Run Uniforms – Co. B, 2nd U. S. Artillery

20 11 2015

Here’s another from Bartek Drejewicz. Company B of the 2nd U. S. Artillery was not at First Bull Run, but sister companies A (Tidball), D (Arnold), E (Carlisle), G (Greene), & M (Hunt) were all there, so raise your eyes a bit and change the B on her Hardee hat to any one of those and you get the picture.

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Bartek is a classically trained artist, and tells me that the prolong in his redleg corporal’s grasp is meant to mimic this piece of classic Greek sculpture, Laocoön and His Sons. 

Laocoön_and_His_Sons

Pliny the Elder attributed the work, said to be an “icon” of human suffering, to Rhodian sculptors Agesander, Athenedoros, and Polydorus. The sculpture now resides in the Vatican, but in Pliny’s time was in the palace of the Emperor Titus. There are several versions of the story, but the long and short of it is that Laocoön was a Trojan priest who was punished by the gods for some transgression.

A prolong is a length of rope used when a gun has to be moved without being limbered, that is, attached to a limber and team of horses. Say, in an emergency. Here’s a sketch showing the prolong where it was normally stored on the carriage, right there on the trail between the handspike and elevating screw:

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Learn everything you ever wanted to know about cannons at To the Sound of the Guns.


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5 responses

20 11 2015
cwbattlemapart

Nice Cannons! Woof Woof! said the Dogs of War!

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20 11 2015
Jens C. Falster

Thanks for the posting. Laocoon and his sons were punished because he protested bringing the great wooden horse into Troy. Hence, “Beware of Greeks bearing gifts” and “Don’t look a gift horse in the mouth.” Regarding the battery section of no small caliber depicted above, I must concur: Nice tubes!. But as a purist on certain other matters, I still have issues with the footwear.Thanks also for the definition of prolong. Previously I would have thought it was some sort of guy pill advertised on ESPN..

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20 11 2015
Harry Smeltzer

As I said, Jens, there is more than one version of the story of Laocoön, depending on the source you choose. Glad you liked the post!

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21 11 2015
John Foskett

I knew there was a reason that I’m an artillery fanatic. And you’re right, Harry – Craig’s site is a go-to place.

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25 11 2015
Chris Evans

I really enjoy these paintings. Found some more he did on the 11th Mississippi, 9th New York Zouaves, and the Black Horse cavalry.

His Napoleonic stuff is well done too. I recommend people seek it out. Good work. Original.

Chris

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