02019 - Soldier Group in Winter Camp; Unknown Location [LC-DIG-cwpb-02019]
While little is known about this group of soldiers a few things are clear. During the winter months semi-permanent camps were established and little fighting occurred. In the background you can see one of the structures being completed. This basic shelter consisted of a simple wood frame with a single door, little or no windows and a canvas roof. The walls were sealed with mud to protect from the elements. If you look closely at the structure the men are standing in front of you will notice the brick from a chimney just barely visible. Typically 5-6 men would share the building all winter.
As you can see, these ten soldiers are a mix of black and white, young and very young. The soldier in the very center appears to be a very young boy. There are records of soldiers as young as 13 being allowed to enlist and boys even younger then that travelled unofficially with the camp. But if you compare the center soldier to all of the others in the image, an intriguing possibility emerges; perhaps, this may be a young woman that disguised herself in order to serve. While we will never have a definite answer, we do know that many women did serve without being discovered until either they were wounded, killed or the war ended.