These post cards were purchased at an estate sale many years ago. I'd never heard of the Richmond Light Infantry Blues so that was not why I bought them. I bought them because of the little drawing of the soldiers. This is a one of a kind. No other exists and that makes the one card special. The other just adds to the historical perspective.
This first card was mailed in August 1905.
The second card mailed in September 1906.
So what was the Richmond Light Infantry Blues?
From the Library of Virginia:
The Richmond Light Infantry Blues was founded in 1789 according to its history and tradition and the state of Virginia recognized its formal commissioning date as 10 May 1793. The unit was called into service during Gabriel's Rebellion, the War of 1812, Nat Turner's Insurrection, and John Brown's Harper's Ferry Raid in 1859. The unit served during the Civil War from April 1861 to April 1865, during the Spanish-American War, and the Mexican border police action in 1916. The Blues served as part of the 104th Ammunition Train during World War I. In 1920, the unit was reorganized and incorporated into the National Guard. In 1926, the Blues traveled to Europe with Guard units from Connecticut. (SOURCE: Library of Virginia)
The image below shows the headquarters for the Richmond Light Infantry Blues.
Click here to see a photo of a fellow in a RLIB uniform in 1896 from the New York Public Library archives.
Click here to see an interesting article from Richmond Then and Now with some of the following items.
Little really is known of the Blues prior to 1793. On May 10, that year, officers were commissioned, and that date for a century has popularly been supposed to be that of the organization of the original company. General William H. Richardson, one-time adjutant-general of Virginia, is credited with fixing May 10, 1789, when his uncle, Captain Richardson, took command of the company, as the date of its founding.In 1876, when the company separated from the First Virginia Regiment, it was granted a charter by the Legislature as an independent infantry organization. The incorporators included John S. Wise, George Wythe Munford, Isaac L. Cary, William H. Fry, Charles P. Bigger, John M. Haddon, T. R. Glazebrook, Thomas B. Bigger, William Wise Sheppard, Ezekiel J. Levy, George W. Jarvis, Thomas H. Blankenship and John F. Regnault.The charter also provided for the creation of the Richmond Light Infantry Blues Association. First officers of this group were Colonel George Wythe Munford, president; Isaac L. Cary, vice-president; Captain Ezekiel J. Levy, treasurer, and Lieutenant Thomas H. Blankenship, secretary. A total of 116 men were elected members of the association. The list contained many formerly connected with the Blues and the names of other leading Richmonders who previously had not been identified with the military unit. (SOURCE: Richmond Then and Now)
"The Blues is, perhaps," said this famous old newspaper, "One of the most extraordinary military organizations in America. It is a remarkable and noble company in all respects, and we doubt whether there is a community on this continent that can point to a similar organization in its midst with as much pleasure as to the people of Richmond to this. It has been the pride of more than two generations of Virginians who have been gathered to their fathers."Its celebrated punch bowl is linked with the most pleasing traditions of the State, and the career of the Blues themselves runs like a golden fibre through the fabric of Richmond's history. The celebrations of their anniversaries and the hospitality of their festive boards have always been a bright epoch amid the convialities of our city."In peace they embodied the manhood and gentility, and were an emblem of the gallantry of Virginia; in war they wrote their names in letters of light upon the pages of history, and gave a glorious illustration of Southern honor and chivalry by their constancy in camp and on the march, and their valor in battle. More than once in the 'imminent breach' have they, with self-sacrificing grandeur, changed the fortunes of a memorable day, and plucked glorious triumph from the nettle crown of danger."
Again, a little piece of paper with history, history I never knew about.
And now for a little tune called the Richmond Light Infantry Blues March.