Thursday, May 23, 2013


Private, Company C, 25th Infantry Regiment Wisconsin Volunteers

     Scanning photographs is a tedious chore, but the result is a very high quality copy which can be labeled and saved as a computer file.  The Museum has a very good scanner purchased with a grant from the State Historical Society, but all photos cannot be scanned in this device.  This problem is encountered when pictures are framed under glass or encased so ornately that they cannot be removed without damaging them.  A case in point is the large frame in the museums military room that contains the civil war memorabilia of David Schreiner.  There in the frame are various keepsakes; a letter regarding his pension, his discharge papers, and a small, dark tintype portrait of him in his uniform coat and hat.  The problem is; how do I copy this for digital storage.  The obvious answer is to use a digital camera to take a "picture of the picture.

     I hold my camera close to the tintype and snap a photo. No good.  There I am reflected in the covering glass, along with ceiling lights and windows.  I place a large black cloth over my head poking the camera out, and hope nobody walks in and see's me this way.  It’s hot under the dark cover.  I push the shutter, uncover and look at the result.  The bright chrome ring around the lens is reflected in the copy photo!  I decide to retouch it out.  A left is the result.

     David Schreiner was born in Germany in 1842.  He came to Wisconsin in 1855 lived here the rest of his life.  When the war came, the young farmer volunteered, serving in Company C of the 25th Infantry Regiment.  He was 19 years old.  On August 11, 1864, during the battle for Atlanta, he lost his left arm.  I couldn't find out which implement of destruction caused his loss.  In the photo he strikes a pose with hands on his legs, elbows jutting out.  This emphasizes his arms as if he knew the left one would someday be only a memory that he could recall with the aid of this keepsake. 

     He was discharged on June 11, 1865, and returned to Grant County.  He married and had three children.  He worked in the abstract business (Bock and Schreiner), sold real estate and fire insurance, and made loans.  He held many public offices including Clerk of Circuit Court, president of the board of Education, and justice of the peace.  In 1910, at the age of 67 he was elected to the State Assembly.  He suffered a paralyzing stroke in the spring of 1919 and died on June 19th of that year.

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