A Day In Camp -- Officers of the 17th US Infantry at Hempstead, Texas in 1867
Left to right: unknown private, blurry dog, 2nd Lieutenant Thomas G. Troxel, Captain William A. Sutherland, and Captain George Lancaster.
Three company officers lounge in folding camp chairs outside a tent while a dog scratches its ear at their feet. The officer on the far right is wearing captain's bars on his shoulder straps. The other two seated officers must be his first and second lieutenants. An enlisted man stands guard nearby with his musket at right-shoulder-shift. I suspect that the middle of the three officers is the one who wrote the note on the card's reverse side that says, "Miserable. The artist insisted on putting my cap back off my eyes until I was blinded by the sun." What do you think?
Two of the officers have the number "17" on their caps. Initially, my totally wild guess was that they were part of the 17th Massachusetts, and this was taken in March or April 1862 shortly after their arrival at New Bern, North Carolina. Other possibilities I considered were the 17th Connecticut at Tennallytown, Washington, DC in the winter of 1862-63, or the 17th Maine near Fredericksburg in the early spring of 1863.
UP DATE: Thanks to some super sleuthing by Camp Groce and Brendan Hamilton (see comments below) the three officers have been identified as members of the 17th US Infantry on Post-War occupation duty in Hempstead, Texas (circa 1866-1867). From left to right they are: 2nd Lieutenant Thomas G. Troxel, Captain William A. Sutherland, and Captain George Lancaster.
Here are summary records for these officers:
Thomas Graham Troxel, from Iowa. Private and 1st Sergeant Co. E 25th Iowa Infantry from 21 August 1862 to 6 June 1865; 2nd Lieutenant 17th US Infantry 23 February 1866; 1st Lieutenant 6 July 1867; Regimental Quartermaster 20 October 1872 to 28 June 1878; Captain 28 June 1878; retired 22 June 1889.
William Sutherland, from Ohio. Private in Co. C 2nd Ohio Infantry from 17 April to 31 July, 1861; 2nd Lieutenant in 19th Ohio Infantry 1 January 1862; 1st Lieutenant 10 December 1862 to 9 May 1864; Captain and Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers 18 March 1864; Major and Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers 19 August 1865; Honorably mustered out 8 December 1865; 2nd Lieutenant and 1st Lieutenant 17th US Infantry 23 February 1866; resigned 1 September 1867 and died of Yellow Fever in Houston that same year. (See this link.)
George Lancaster, from Maine. Private in the 17th US Infantry from 14 April 1862: promoted to 2nd Lieutenant 17th US Infantry 13 March 1863; 1st Lieutenant 14 May 1863; Captain 6 February 1866; retired 6 May 1870; died 26 September 1875.