Thursday, March 15, 2007

The real Alonzo C. Hayden, 1st Minnesota Volunteers

This portrait CDV (Carte De Visite) or "visiting card" shows the subject of my next figure study. Alonzo was born in 1839. His family moved to Minnesota from Somerset Maine. in the Summer of 1854. His parents were lured to Minnesota because of good farmland. The settled in Elm Creek where Alonzo busied himself clearing land on the farmstead. Alonzo and five others signed up following a speech asking for volunteers to put down the rebellion. Though excepted into the First Minnesota they were all split up into different companies. Alonzo's oldest brother Anson was mustered into Company I, while Alonzo ended up into Company D. He participated in the First Battle of Bull Run and continued with the regiment until July 1862, when he became sick and was sent to hospital in Washington. He returned to the regiment and was soon sent to the hospital in Philadelphia. Alonzo recovered and was back with his regiment by March, 1863. Alonzo was in the ranks of the regiment at Gettysburg when it made it's now famous charge. Alonzo would be mortally wounded and would die on July 3, 1863. He was buried near where he fell. In October his remains were re-intered in the newly dedicated National Cemetery. He lies there today with his comrades in Section A, Grave #2.

This will be the first in a number of paintings honoring men of the rank and file who get swallowed up into the bigger picture of battle.


Peter said...


How did you come across the CDV and the story? I'm looking forward to seeing the completed work!


Gary Dombrowski said...

Peter, Follwing the link to a great 1st Minnesota site. If you click on the roster it lists specific battles they participated in. After that click on a battle and though there is not an image for every member the background text makes the person more than just a single body that made up a much larger formation in battle.

Jason said...

Bout time you opened back up!

Looks awesome, pard! Great subject...Loooking forward to some more color.