Humbled, Elated and Honored...
It has been an amazing first week. I think all of us on the Invalid Corps team have been elated and humbled by the support for this project. With this second update, seven days after our Kickstarter campaign began, we are delighted to report we just crossed the 75% mark. So, to everyone who has contributed and everyone who has helped spread the word, THANK YOU! Your incredible generosity is making a difference and we’re proud to have almost 100 of you with us on this journey!
As we go into our second week, I wanted to take a few minutes to tell you about some of the great rewards for our Kickstarter backers. Some are self-evident such as screeners and digital copies of the short film, but I do want to tell you about some of the other amazing items: Carte de Visite, the Challenge Coin, and the Union Case.
$50 Backer Level – Faces of the Invalid Corps (Carte de Visite or CDVs)
CDVs were a small photographs printed using a glass negative, allowing for multiple copies. These were very popular during the war as they offered an inexpensive way for soldiers and family members to send and receive photographs of loved ones. We want you to be able to see and hear about individual men from the Invalid Corps and of people pivotal to the Battle of Fort Stevens. What better way than a postcard CDV with an image of them and information about who they were, what their disability was, and what they accomplished? We don’t want to just tell the story of the Corps and the battle but of the individuals who were a part of it. So we will find images of these men, discover their story and tell you how they contributed to history.
Let me give you an example:
*Final CDVs/Postcards will have information on the back
Name: Colonel Adam Rankin “Stovepipe” Johnson
Army: Partisan Rangers of the Confederate Army
Disability: Blindness. On August 21, 1864, he was blinded by an accidental shot from one of his own men during a skirmish. He was captured by the Federals. Exchanged near the war's end, and despite his blindness, he attempted to return to active duty.
His story: In July 1862, Johnson captured the town of Newburgh, Indiana. He tricked the large Union militia force into surrendering. Johnson only had 12 men with him and two “Quaker Guns,” fake cannons made from stovepipe mounted on an abandoned wagon. Newburgh, Indiana was the first Northern city to fall to the Confederates and from then on he was nicknamed "Stovepipe.”
After the War: Johnson went on to found the town of Marble Falls, Texas, sometimes referred to as “the blind man’s town.” He was a rancher, mine owner, cotton magnate, real estate dealer, author, and proud father of nine.
$100 Backer Level - The Challenge and the Cause (Challenge Coin)
There are many examples of traditions that build camaraderie in the military, but few are as well-respected as the practice of carrying a challenge coin— This is a small coin or medallion, bearing an insignia or emblem and carried by the organization’s members. It is a symbol of pride and of unity.
The story of the challenge coin goes back to World War I, when an officer had bronze medallions struck with the flying squadron’s insignia to give to his men. Shortly after, one of the young flying aces was shot down over Germany and captured. The Germans took everything on his person except the small leather pouch he wore around his neck that happened to contain his medallion.
The pilot escaped and made his way to France. But the French believed he was a spy, and sentenced him to execution. In an effort to prove his identity, the pilot presented the medallion. A French soldier happened to recognize the insignia and the execution was delayed. The French confirmed his identity and sent him back to his unit.
*Final coin design may differ slightly
These custom, limited-edition coins are designed specifically for the Invalid Corps documentary project and come from Eric Perez at Challenge Coins Plus. Celebrate the unity and pride; become a part of the brotherhood that is the Invalid Corps and donate at the “Challenge and the Cause” level.
$200 Backer Level – The Union Case (Replica Photograph Case)
Hand-made by Rick Brown these replica Gutta Percha/Union cases are designed to appear similar to original Civil War cases where soldiers carried images and/or sent them home. Using a photo you send to us, it will be converted to black and white and the background removed, and resized to fit the case size - 2.75 inches by 3.25 inches. It is then put on glass and inserted into the case. This makes it appear closer to an original ambrotype photo. It is a great, one-of-a-kind beautiful item.
We’ll put you in there instead of John Wilkes Booth.
Hopefully, in addition to supporting the project on its own merits, you’ll find something for yourself or a friend or family member with an interest in history.
The team here is working hard and we are all committed to bringing to light the amazing stories of these veterans with disabilities. We’ve still got a ways to go to reach our final goal of $7,776 so we hope you’ll continue to tell share this story and tell your friends and family to donate if they can.
Stay tuned for more as we continue!