Richmond Greys
Original Author: Unknown
Created: 1859
Medium: Ambrotype
Publisher: Virginia Historical Society

Richmond Greys

Thirteen members of the Richmond Greys, a volunteer militia from that city, pose for a photograph in 1859. The men in front, perhaps in celebratory mode, pour the contents of a bottle into a cup. This image is believed to have been made in Charles Town, Virginia (later West Virginia), where the Greys had been dispatched to help with security during the execution of John Brown, the abolitionist who had led an unsuccessful raid on the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry. Actor and rabid anti-abolitionist John Wilkes Booth, the man who would later assassinate United States president Abraham Lincoln, left the Richmond theater where he was performing and managed to buy a uniform from the Greys and secure a spot amidst them during the hanging.