Wise Brigade “Mess”,The Museum of the Confederacy,Wednesday
A watercolor sketched around 1863 by Confederate private John J. Omenhauser captures his messmates at camp, along with their complaining—and at times humorous—asides. Corporal William Snead, kneeling at left over a ham hock complains that he's had so much bacon to eat that "I feel as if I had Hog bristels [sic] growing all over me." Private Charles Eppes, carrying a wooden bucket full of water for cooking, worries that his comrades will use it to wash in; if one of the soldiers does so, Eppes threatens to "break his head." Private Robert C. Carter, chopping wood at right, complains of his elevated pulse rate of 240 heart beats a minute and says that with these palpitations he may have to "see the doctor for a discharge."
These men served in Company A of the 46th Virginia Regiment, which was part of the Wise Brigade under the command of Brigadier General Henry A. Wise, the former governor of Virginia.