While fighting for the 32nd Indiana during the Civil War, Captain Adolph Metzner documented his experiences through a series of drawings. In this one, an unnamed general stands with one leg raised on a box, one hand on his hip and the other on his knee as an African American mimics his posture while polishing the rear of the general's pants. In the background, two men watch from inside a tent.
- What is the African American doing in this drawing?
- What inference can be made about the broader role of the African American in this camp? How has the author drawn the image to lead you to believe this?
- How does this drawing compare to the photograph of the group of soldiers at Washington D.C.'s Camp Cameron in both imagery and meaning?
- If you could read his mind, what would the African American be thinking at this moment? Use the details of the drawing to inspire you.
Metzner, Adolph, "Polishing the General's britches, Major Ed Mueller, Murfreesboro, Tennessee," between 1861 and 1865. Courtesy of Library of Congress