This young man is identified as Ed Davison.  The photographer, Henry James Stevenson, opened his first photo gallery about 1895 in El Reno, Oklahoma Territory.  If you’d like to learn more about Oklahoma before it became a state, check out what the Oklahoma Historical Society has to say.


Disappointingly, I didn’t find any records or newspaper articles about Ed’s desertion from Fort Reno on Sunday eve June 11, 1899.  I’m curious about who the author of this writing might have been.  Did this cabinet card serve as a type of wanted poster? Was Ed captured and court marshaled or did he manage to escape the law?

3 thoughts on “Deserted

    1. I doubt that the army kept photos just in case of a desertion. I have a great granduncle who deserted the army in 1890. He was captured a years or so later, tried and found guilty of desertion. He was dishonestly discharged and sent to Fort Leavenworth military prison for 3 years at hard labor. I’ve gotten all his records from the National Archives and there were no photos of him (a big disappointment). It’s possible that after Ed Davison deserted, the army checked with local photographers and got a copy of his CDV to help identify him later. I’d love to know more about how the army went about trying to locate deserters.

      Liked by 2 people

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