A journal following the history, design, construction and operation of Bernard Kempinski's O Scale model railroad depicting the U. S. Military Railroad (USMRR) Aquia-Falmouth line in 1863, and other model railroad projects.
©Bernard Kempinski All text and images, except as noted, on this blog are copyrighted by the author and may not be used without permission.

June 21, 2013

The Generals and their Staff

Generals Grant and Sherman and their staff
Grant and staff at City Point, Va
It is hard to find civil war photographs of Civil War Generals and staffs mounted on their horses, though it was a popular image for paintings.

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 In scanning the archives one finds numerous photos of commanders and their staff in standing or sitting poses, but almost none showing them mounted. The difficulty of keeping a bunch of horses still for long enough to make an exposure is probably one reason.

In the scene on the McCook's Landing we are depicting a meeting between Grant and Sherman and some mounted staff officers. I also have a few more cavalry figures  I plan to add as escorts and messenger. One of the escorts will be bearing a unit designating flag.

As I described before, Grant and Sherman were not physically together during the period we model. The vignette is meant to illustrate the close relationship the two had in the final years of the war.  The purists can think of these officers as generic generals even though they do look uncannily like Grant, Sherman, Burnside (his whiskers are a give away), and Howard (though I gave Howard gray whiskers. During the war his beard was dark).

It is interesting to observe how much room on the layout these figures take up. There won't be room for a wagon and mule train on the street with all the mounted figures there.


  1. Thanks for adding the staff folks, in most cases the staff takes up more room than it provides to the action, speaking as a staff officer at Battalion, Brigade, Division, Corps and Field Army levels during my career.

  2. Nice miniatures. Which manufacturer? 28mm scale?


    1. The figures come from various sources. All are 40mm except Grant's horse, which is a 1/35th scale pony that I modified. Grant is a Foundry figure (I think, ... I got it many years ago.) Sherman is a modified Trident figure that was originally Stonewall Jackson. The other two officers are Sash and Saber.