Private Burnham enlisted in 1861, joining the 1st Corps of Cadets, who garrisoned Fort Warren, Boston Harbor, during the Civil War.
Boston’s Independent, or 1st Corps of Cadets goes back to 1741, a unit that could be considered an “elegant elite” among the militia of its day. John Appleton Burnham, Jr. enlisted as a member in October of 1861, and along with the 1CC, were mustered into federal service in May of 1862, and would serve at Fort Warren, in Boston Harbor.
Young Burnham photographed here by Black of Boston, wearing his full dress uniform. If you did not know what unit this was, a look at the belt plate would assist in determining the answer, and insignia even worn on the doughboy helmets in WWI, as part of the 101st Engineers, 26th Yankee Division.
A bit light, by still a nice image that would reproduce well for publication.
From the Michael McAfee Collection.