Description: Formal studio half-length portrait of a seated young man wearing a federal uniform jacket with a two stripe chevron on the left sleeve. At the bottom left of this carte-de-visite is in the inscription "A.C. Platt, Oberlin, O"
Historical Note: John Watkins, a corporal with the 19th Ohio Battery, was present at the Battle of Fort Sanders in November 1863. His eyewitness description concludes, "As soon as the firing stopped I went up and got on the parapet to look at them. And such a sight I never saw before nor do I care about seeing again. The ditch in places was almost full of them piled one on top of the other.... They were brave men. Most of them Georgians." Watkins returned to Knoxville for a reunion in 1895 and recounted the visit as follows: "Went to Fort Sanders, looked the place over and talked with old soldiers and some other people about it, but it will soon be of the past -- boys are helping to tear down the parapets to find bullets and they get lots of them.... We can locate the place where our gun stood all right, now there is a big house built within 100 feet of it and a road is graded right through the works between where we were." He also mentioned having been well received at the Armstrong House (Bleak House): "We were a little doubtful about our receipt... [but we were] escorted into the parlor to sit and rest awhile...showed us every room in the house. Showed us all the bullet-holes and shell marks...showed us where his guns were placed on either side of the house, also where some men were killed on both sides, rebel and Federal and where buried in her yard. We were also on the spot where General Sanders was shot about 80 rods from her house." Their hostess that day would have been Louisa Armstrong, formerly a staunch supporter of the Confederacy. The University of Tennessee owns papers and artifacts related to John Watkins and they can be seen at the Frank H. McClung Museum and the University of Tennessee Library Special Collections. Alfred Platt was listed as an ambrotypist living in Oberlin, Ohio in the 1860 census.
Institution: Frank H. McClung Museum, University of Tennessee
Publisher: Digital Initiatives, James E. Walker Library, Middle Tennessee State University
Rights: Images reproduced on this website are intended for individual, educational use only. For research inquiries about specific objects or requests for high resolution images, contact the Frank H. McClung Museum.