Bull Run to Gettysburg the Federal
capital was repeatedly threatened by the advances of the Confederates, and
strong camps for the defense of Washington were maintained throughout the war.
It was the smart thing for the ladies of the capital to invade these outlying
camps, and they were always welcomed by the officers weary of continuous
guard-duty. Here the camera has caught the willing subject in handsome Kate
Chase Sprague, who became a belle of official society in Washington during the
war. She was the daughter of
Salmon P. Chase, Lincoln's Secretary of the
Treasury. At this time she was the wife of Governor William Sprague, of Rhode
Island, and was being entertained in camp by General J. J.
Abercrombie, an officer of the regular
army, well known in the capital.