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Dave Taylor
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12-03-01 - Original "Drive-By" Civil War Letter - Inside reads "There was quite a shooting took place the other night in the neighborhood where I was teaching last winter. There was a dance at a private house and some of the folks of this part of the country went over for their share of the fun and was refused admittance which roused their righteous indignation to such a pitch that they determined to go in at all hazards. They made a charge on them and forced an entrance. They then drew their revolvers and commenced firing. Several persons were wounded but none dangerously except Bloomfield and a boy named Marbough. Bloomfield is a union man but is rather a dissipated character... He was shot by as great a rebel a Dave Glen as is reported that he is the man who shot him. Bloomfield was shot in the head arm and breast. Some think he will finally recover and if he does this part of the country will not be a very pleasant residence for Glen." $55.00 SOLD

Very interesting content!

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12-03-02 Soldier Letter Written on a Field Printed Broadside - This letter reads, "Your very kind letter was received just at a time when I could not answer it immediately. We were under marching orders against Van Doren's forces some twenty-five miles from here. We were gone four days and it was a terrible march. It rained half of the time we were gone. We Bivouacked in the mud and rain two nights. We skirmished with the enemy for ten miles. Killed some 8 or 10 of their men and took several prisoners. We drove them across Duck River at Columbia and returned last evening to Camp very much fatigued. Our men marched with boots on and they almost ruined their feet. He had about 12,000 men and we had about 15,000. General Forrest was in Command of the Rebel Cavalry. One of our cannonballs passed through his headquarters and he and all his staff scampered in double quick time - he leaving his overcoat and lost a fine turkey that was in the pan cooking. Our cavalry got it. The whole force run like dogs until they were safe across Duck River. We had no means of crossing it. Besides our rations had given out so we returned to camp for rest a few days."

Two more pages of great content! Signed by Andrew J. Neff of 84th Indiana. $135.00 SOLD

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12-03-03 - Mexican War Artillery Saber Belt- Very Scarce! Here is a chance to buy one of the rarest U.S. Army belt rigs- the white buff 1839/40 pattern saber belt for the Light Artillery Saber.   I see the waist belts for the 1832 artillery short swords pretty frequently, but these belts for enlisted men in the light artillery batteries are very scarce and have always been tough to find.  These are the true saber belts.   In all my years of collecting and dealing I have only owned two others, and they were both last year!  This belt uses the interlocking two-piece US plate that we see on heavy artillery belts and adjusts for size with the normal adjusting hook, but the belt itself is very different:  two sewn chapes secure squarish oval brass rings from which hang the saber slings to carry the light artillery saber.  Attached to the forward ring is also the carrying hook to enable the soldier to keep the sword from dragging on the ground when he is on foot. The belt still shows nice faded white color, though with just the amount of dirt you would want to see. The brass has a nice untouched patina, and it still retains the sliding tightener loop on the waistbelt.   The U.S. light artillery played a significant part in the Mexican War and was credited in many engagements with a pivotal role by rapidly maneuvering and coming action at close range with devastating effect on the enemy.
Excellent condition, very historical, and very hard to find…..  I sold the last ones for nearly $3000 each …  I found this one last month at a low price and can sell it for a very friendly  $2,350.00 SOLD

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12-03-04 - Very Appealing Red-Background U.S. Artillery Eagle Drum, by John C. Haynes & Co. No. 33 Court St. Opposite the Court House Boston …  this is his war date address.  These scarce red drums usually associated with artillery units, whose branch of service color was red, are downright scarce. This eagle, facing right, underneath an arc of 13 stars with an American shield on its breast is almost identical to a known drum by Elias Howe that also has a red gound and red, white and blue paint decorated rims. The only real difference is the use a blue ribband with gold lettering in the eagle’s beak, rather than a white ribband.   The condition on this drum is excellent and untouched in modern times - just a few small areas of paint loss or abrasion, nothing unsightly.  The worst is on the left wing, but is not bad and I would leave it exactly as it is.  Please see the photos. And, there has been no inpainting or touching-up. The drum rope is correct, but could be a replacement.  The leather tighteners show two different shapes, but are all old and period.  All this is normal in a drum that was actually used. The lower head has a small tear in the center and the upper a somewhat longer tear starting at one edge, but both are solid and in place. No snare. The lower rim shows a very folksy period repair on the outside that is just enough to show this drum was actually used and not sitting in a shop window. Painted U.S. military drums have always been in high demand because of their artistic qualities. The folk art market has always valued them as much as the military market, making them hard to acquire. This is a superior example….. and very handsome.  Measures roughly 16” diameter by 14” tall;.   $4,850.00 SOLD

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12-03-05 - Travelling Shaving Mirror. These wood-cased shaving mirrors are one of several types purchased by soldiers and found among their personal effects. The two-piece flattened oval wood case with squared ends has a pivoting lid that protects the glass and a small ring at the top enables it to be hung up on a tree or tent pole. A nice example of a personal item purchased by soldiers from peddlers and sutlers in expectation of a campaign….  A nice complete example.  $135.00 SOLD

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12-03-06 Money Belt – 1850 – 1860 Gold Rush to Civil War Era.   Both officers and enlistedmen were subject to robbery while traveling or on leave in a city. Wearing a money belt under one’s garments was one solution. This example is made from the finest doe skin  with light blue edge binding. Three larger pockets are secured by three white ceramic buttons and are separated by two smaller single button pockets. The larger pockets would be suitable for bills or documents and the smaller for coins. The size is adjusted by a very typical of the period two-prong buckle on one end and an extended billet on the other. This would be appropriate also, I suppose, if you are interested in early western and riverboat gambler artifacts. No good poker player is going to carry his bankroll out in the open….  Made of the finest doe skin. Definitely 1860 era and possibly as early as 1850 and appropriate to display with Civil War or 49er Callifornia Gold Miner effects.   $225.00 SOLD

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12-03-07 1855 Harpers Ferry rifle sight - 1855 Rifle Figure-8 Detachable Front Cross-hair Sight. Brass mounted 1855 rifles are among the most attractive of US military arms, are in great demand, and very tough to find. If you are lucky enough to have one, chances are still pretty good you are lacking a key piece- the detachable front sight.   This is a perfect reproduction ….  $100.00 SOLD

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12-03-08 - Smith and Wesson Number Two Army Revolver- five inch barrel, serial number 25,XXX, which makes it a wartime gun. These .32 Cal. cartridge pistols were very popular with officers, being light enough to carry in a belt holster on the march and still powerful enough to do some damage. Few officers felt the need to have a heavy, large caliber revolver dragging down their waist belt while on a hot dusty march, and in battle they were supposed to be supervising their men rather than taking potshots at the enemy themselves.  Of course, in a tight spot an officer’s sword would not be enough, and these Smith and Wessons were the ideal sidearm. The self-contained cartridges this gun utilized also offered the advantage of being weather proof and resistant to damage from handling.  This gun has gray metal mixed with brown age spots throughout, but no pitting. The grips show the expected dings and dents from being carried. All in all a nice gun for a display of Civil War officer’s effects.   Looks great lying across a foot officer’s sword….$595.00 SOLD

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12-03-09 - Very Good condition Smith and Wesson Number Two Army- six inch barrel, showing traces of blue on the barrel and cylinder, and some of the frame. Fading to brown at the rear of the frame and showing wear along the sight rib and pin. Still, a pleasing gun. 51,XXX serial number range, so just after the war, making it a nice western related piece. Grips are good, but one side has a lengthwise crack. Top of hammer spur is chipped. These were nice pocket pistols or easily carried on a belt by travellers in dangerous areas. One major advantage was their metallic cartridges did not fall apart from banging around in a pocket or getting wet in the rain. I seem to recall even Wild Bill Hickock had one of these…$575.00 SOLD

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12-03-10 - French made LeFaucheux Pinfire Army Size revolver. Overall good to VG.  Large bore appears to be 10mm (or close).  Totally unmarked.  A good number of these guns made their way into US military hands during the Civil War, being issued to cavalrymen and purchased by officers.  They were also a popular civilian arm.  We tend to think of them as ungainly, but the prospect of carrying a revolver that did require separate primers for its cartidges, and sturdy cartridges that were not merely paper cased, was an attractive one. Here is a nice double action example with a lanyard ring at the butt. The metal is gray mixed with dark spots. The rod shows a bit of a bend and the loading gate is missing.  The grips are nice, the screw in the grip appears to be a replacement. The mechanism is fully functional. $345.00 SOLD

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12-03-11 - Lefaucheux 10mm Pinfire Revolver - A very fine looking double-action Lefaucheux 10mm pinfire revolver with ivory grips, engraved metalwork, and six inch barrel.  This is head and shoulders above most revolvers of the period.  The cylinder, rear of barrel and the frame are engraved with flowing lines and geometric motifs.  There is a remnant of gold inlay in the engraved lines on the cylinder.   Even the screws securing the grips are decorated. The gun retains much of the original factory blue finish. Condition is about fine.  All original except a small retaining spring that secures the ejector rod.  Interestingly this fine quality firearm is not marked by maker in any fashion.  This is a very appealing gun, and one made for service too- fitted with a sight rib, closed frame over the cylinder, and the standard lanyard ring. Two very slight cracks extend from the grip screws on either side, but are barely noticeable. A very dressy gun with much eye appeal.  A Colt with ivory grips, engraving, and finish would cost ten or twenty times more than this.  A superb value   $1,175.00 SOLD

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12-03-12 -  High Finish “PDL” Marked LeFaucheux Style Pinfire 9mm Revolver. This gun shows lots of original factory blue color on the 6.5 inch barrel and forward part of the frame and cylinder. Floral decoration engraved on the rear of the frame and a serial number, 3434, on one side. Trigger guard with spur and the standard lanyard ring in the butt. The grips show very attractive color and grain. The top breech area is marked “9mm” and “PDL” (in an oval), just as seen on Civil War sword blades.  I assume Peter D. Luneschloss the well known maker and supplier of swords may have had some hand in marketing these 9mm revolvers.  If you know the story please advise.  A lot of gun for the money….$950.00 SOLD

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12-03-13 – High Finish Whitney Pocket Revolver - Dripping in Blue! Overall fine++ condition. Barrel and cylinder retain 90%+ original blue finish. Grips are fine.  Markings are sharp. Hammer retains much case color. Traces of blue on the frame.   .31 caliber, 5" barrel with "E. WHITNEY N. HAVEN" on the top.  SN 8462. The cylinder scene is highly visible and contains patriotic Eagle and Lion.   Mechanically perfect and totally original and complete.  Many a Union soldier carried a Whitney revolver with him in the field. Most we find are well used grey metal guns. This is a superb specimen! $2,250.00 SOLD

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12-03-14 - Moore Revolver with scarce Smith & Wesson marking. Top of the barrel is marked "MANUFACTURED FOR SMITH & WESSON BY MOORE'S PATENT FIRE ARMS CO." The cylinder is marked "PATENTED APRIL 3, 1855 & SEPT 18, 1860." Back strap is engraved "JMG' (the initials of the owner).  Overall fine condition with much original blue evenly dispersed.  The balance is plum color.  Very attractive.  100% original and complete… mechanically perfect.  I have owned several of these Moore 7-shooters engraved with presentation inscriptions to Civil War officers.  I would wager that the initials on this gun’s back strap are likely those of a Union officer.  $1450.00 SOLD

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12-03-15 - Union Arms Co. by Marston Fluted Cylinder Pocket or Belt Revolver - Overall VG condition with steel grey patina overall. Markings are strong, grips are VG, mechanics function perfectly! A very solid and representative example of this classic Civil War sidearm. 31 caliber, 5-shot cylinder, 5.5 inch barrel marked 'THE UNION ARMS CO". Serial Number is 4886 making this a Fourth Type. A great old gun with classic lines. $625.00 SOLD

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12-03-16 - Darn nice single-action Starr revolver. Just about excellent wood grips, even plumb brown patina overall. A couple of very minor rough spots on the left side of the barrel and just over the cylinder that are not noticeable. Very clear markings and serial number 39504. Starr’s finish was unique and when it goes it seems to flake off in patches making the guns somewhat unsightly even if they actually retain high percentage of finish. It is somewhat unusual to find one with nice even color like this. I love the history of these guns. Starr’s revolvers are a perfect example of clever Victorian engineering. The first models were double-action, which would seem a great technological advancement. The trigger pressure necessary to cock and fire the gun, however, made holding the pistol on target and hitting anything more luck than a result of skill. The result was a re-engineered revolver with a more precise single-action mechanism. These are wonderful guns! $1,200.00 SOLD

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12-03-17 - 1863 Dated Tower Enfield Rifle Musket:  Standard Civil War P-53 Enfield musket in overall VG condition.  Shows just the right amount of age and handling to let us know it was really there.  Has proper 25*25* barrel proofs showing it was sent to USA or CSA and is .577 caliber.  The best things about the Enfield is that it is absolutely proper to display with Union or Confederate effects.  This musket is 100% original, complete except for missing ramrod, and mechanically fine.  There is a small crack in the wood forward of the lock --- shown clearly in the illustration.  $1,275.00 SOLD

 

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12-03-18 - Model 1816 Conversion Musket w/ Maynard Tape Primer - Marked “City of Phila. / A. Wurflein”: .69 caliber, 42" barrel. Lockplate stamped "REMINGTON'S ILION, N.Y. 1858 U.S."Buttplate stamped US on the heel. Tang is stamped 1858. Top of barrel is stamped 1837. These Remington conversions were heavily used during the Civil War. Remington converted 20,000 such muskets just before the outbreak. This is a Very Good example, and even more desirable with the Wurflein- Philadelphia marking on the barrel. Undoubtedly carried by a Pennsylvania Volunteer. Totally original and complete and mechanically perfect. A lot of bang for your buck…. $1250.00 SOLD

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12-03-19 – Extra Nice H&P Style Bolster Conversion of Springfield model 1816 Musket: A very solid specimen of the 2nd type bolster conversion of the 1816 flintlock. This is the Hewes and Phillips style conversion, but not signed by them so likely an unknown contractor. Lock marked “Springfield 1839”, eagle and US worn as usual due to refurbishing in the conversion process. Barrel marked “P” in an oval raised cartouche. Bolster unmarked. Has early style (1855-1861) short range rear sight and a smooth bore. The wood is excellent, the metal smooth and clean. A very solid example of the early war 1816 conversion, and very handsome. $1200.00 SOLD

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12-03-20 - Trapdoor Springfield - Excellent Near Mint Model 1884 Most original finish is present. Original and complete. This is a near mint 45/70 trapdoor with the Buffington rear sight that allows the shooter to make the critical windage, and elevation adjustments needed for supreme accuracy. This 1884 model was also designed to handle a newer more powerful 500 grain bullet. This gun has virtually all the blue finish, rich case color on the block and near new wood with vivid cartouche. The inspector's cartouche is dated 1889. $1395.00 SOLD

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12-03-21 - Fine M-1861 Contract Musket by Parkers Snow & Co. One of the finest examples I have seen lately. NRA "fine" condition. Metal overall crisp steel with sharp markings. Barrel and lock bear matched dates of 1863. Stock has clear inspectors' cartouches. Wood is superb with crisp - sharp edges. These Parkers Snow contracts are among the scarcer contracts to find. A large number were converted after the war... Making the original percussion guns a bit tougher to find. A really nice example. $1975.00 SOLD

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12-03-22 - 10 Guage Double Barrel Shotgun - Barrels measure 32.25". Each lock is marked W. Moore & Co. The top of the barrels are marked LONDON FINE TWIST. Both hammers cock without a hitch. Confederates were known to use these from time to time. $265.00 SOLD

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12-02-23 - U.S. Civil War Cavalryman’s Jacket - One of the most colorful and recognizable Civil War regulation uniforms. This is the issue “shell jacket” worn by Yankee cavalrymen in every theatre of the war. Makers stamp reads "I. HABER & CO. NEW YORK 3 NOV. 64." (A rare maker).Stand-up collar trimmed with yellow tape and buttons forming two false buttonholes on either side, with more yellow trim down the front edge and around the bottom, yellow pointed cuff chevrons, and yellow tape from the back of the shoulder to the waist. Still in place are the fabric bolsters, or pillows, trimmed in yellow at the rear of the waist designed to help support the troopers saber belt with its complement of cap and cartridge boxes as well as pistol and saber. Regulation twelve small buttons down the front and two on each cuff.... $2500.00 SOLD

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12-03-24 Artillery Jacket - U.S. Regulation Civil War Light Artillery Jacket. This is the artillery companion to the cavalry shell jacket, made the same way with stand-up collar, tape piping on the front, cuffs, base of the jacket, from shoulder to waist in the rear and on the bolsters. The trim, of course, is red, which is the branch of service color for the artillery both heavy and light, though this is for men of the light artillery batteries serving in the field. This example still has the full sleeve linings showing the inspector’s markings (“Shaffer”) and three dots indicating the size (the army issued them in four standard sizes.) It looks like someone also stamped in a size “38” marking on the loose blanket weave lining, which is largely there, but shows a lot of shredding. Still, it is a solid piece of cloth, will display very well, and shows nice issue markings. Along with the issue cavalry jackets, these are the most colorful of regulation Federal uniforms. Very realistically priced at…..  $1,695.00 SOLD

 

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12-03-25 Frock Coat - Union Army Officer’s Single Breasted Frock Coat:   Freshly found.  This coat shows much soiling but has tons of character.  This is the regulation coat for lieutenants and captains of all branches of the service and this one was unquestionably worn hard in the field.   Classic early to mid war style with long skirts and ballooned elbows on the sleeves.  Buttons are enlisted general service buttons.  The body lining is the standard quilted.  Lining in the skirts was removed ages ago.  Collar has an area of moth damage but the balance of the coat is relatively moth free.  The wool is a deep midnight blue with a lot of staining and soil.  It looks like it may have been stored hanging up in an attic.  A most affordable Civil War uniform coat that was really there.  $1800.00 SOLD

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12-03-26 - Three CDVs of Samuel W. Clarke 21st Maine - Grouping of three nice wartime CDVs of Samuel W. Clarke of the 21st Maine Infantry and 2nd Maine Cavalry. Clarke was 24 when he enlisted in the 21st on 10/11/62 as a Captain and was commissioned in Company H. The first photo shows him in a ¾ seated view with a Portsmouth backmark and identified as a lieutenant.  The second and third views show him as a Captain both full standing with sword and gauntlets and in a vignetted chest view. Both of these are nicely signed on the reverse as presents to his parents.
The 21st was a nine-month unit sent to the Department of the Gulf. The regiment first saw service doing picket duty and fending off guerrillas at Baton Rouge, but was soon called into more active service for the siege of Port Hudson, where it took part in the assaults of May 27 and June 14, losing 88 men in the process.
Clark survived to muster out with the regiment and then almost immediately signed up as Captain of Company E in the 2nd Maine Cavalry, which was also sent to service in the Gulf. That unit participated in a number of expeditions and skirmishes in Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. He finally left the service in December, 1865, mustering out at Barrancas, Florida. Those two tours of duty apparently gave him enough of the deep south. After the war he was a member of GAR Post 191 in Boston.  $250.00 SOLD

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12-03-27 CDV of Confederate General Joe Wheeler - Nice E and HT Anthony view of famous Confederate cavalry leader General Joseph Wheeler. Three-quarter length seated view, slightly turned, showing his regulation CS general’s frock coat. Period pencil identification on the lower front “Genl. Wheeler,” cancelled tax stamp on the reverse. The Anthony backmark and slightly round corners of the card point to a date at war’s end for the image, but it had to be before September, 1866, when the tax stamps ceased to be used.
Wheeler served in the US Dragoons and Mounted Rifles before the war, but started as a CS infantry officer when the war broke out. He quickly moved into a cavalry command and established a reputation as a superb Confederate cavalry leader in the western theatre, second perhaps only to Forrest. He was extremely active under Bragg and Hood and caused Sherman a lot of trouble on the March to the Sea. He served as a US Representative from Alabama after the war, and was well enough regarded as a soldier that he was called back into U.S. service in 1898 and sent to Cuba and then the Philippines as a general. Legend has it that he was so carried away in the excitement of the campaign that he once referred to the enemy as “Yankees,” forgetting that he himself then wore the blue….$250.00 SOLD

 

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12-03-28 - CDV of General David B Birney - Vignetted bust view of General David B. Birney by McClees of Philadelphia. Corners rounded for album insertion. Period pencil id on the reverse. Shown as a brigadier-general. Birney started the war in the 23rd PA and became its colonel, the regiment taking their nickname, Birney’s Zouaves, from him. He made brigadier-general early in 1862 and major-general in May, 1863. Most of his service was with the 3rd Corps, commanding it at Gettysburg after Sickles was wounded, and even leading troops from it in a division of the 2nd Corps after Grant’s consolidation of the army for the overland campaign in 1864. He was well enough regarded that he was selected to command the 10th Corps, but died of disease shortly thereafter in late 1864....$150.00 SOLD

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12-03-29 -CDV 22nd NYSM Officer - Full-standing CDV view of a company officer, Rockwood, Broadway, NY backmark on reverse lower edge. Nicely composed view of a lieutenant or captain standing with his hands clasped behind his back, wearing a forage cap, a four-button officer’s sack coat, sash and officer’s sword hooked up on his sword belt that bears a rectangular belt plate with an NY in a wreath.  Most likely he is a member of the 22nd NYSM. The cap seems to have a crown different color from the base and his coat, and bears a “22” in a wreath. This regiment was called into federal service twice during war. One of their periods of service was spent at Harpers Ferry, where they were photographed in camp quite a number of times....$150.00 SOLD

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12-03-30 – US Marine Corps Eagle Drum -  Yup… the real deal.  This drum dates circa 1875 while the Marine Corps was still a tiny force.  Finding any 19th century Marine drum is an extremely rare event.  The Civil War example in good condition recently displayed at a large antique arms show was priced like an automobile, and I have seen more Civil War Marine drums (three or four in my life), than I have seen of the 1875 period.   This cool old relic stands at about 10" high and 16" in diameter. The patriotic eagle holds a banner in its mouth and while quite worn,  the legend "US MARINES" is still visible on the riband.  No drum heads are present and it retains just one rim…  but the restoration is easily accomplished with the addition of flesh hoops, heads, rope, tighteners, and a rim.  I will be happy to supply the name of a good restorer to you if you wish to go that route.  An incredibly rare US Military drum …  priced “thoughtfully” …  $1,200.00 SOLD

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12-03-31 -GAR Medal - He may have seen Robert E. Lee up close! Extremely rare regular army veteran’s badge for a member of Co. K 5th US Cavalry: Robert E. Lee’s old regiment and Grant's escort at Appomattox! Typical veteran’s 4-tier ladder badge reading “Co. K / 5 / US / Cavalry” along with a Whitehead and Hoag celluloid “Sheridan’s Cavalry” badge suspended from the bottom. GAR ladder badges like these were made for members of many units, but regular army ones are extremely uncommon, and regular army cavalry units are almost unheard of: there were only six regular cavalry regiments, after all. The Fifth Cavalry is the old Second Cavalry, redesignated when all mounted regiments were changed to cavalry in late 1861. The regiment was formed in 1855 and fought Indians out west before the war. Twelve future generals served in their ranks. The first colonel was Albert Sydney Johnston and Robert E. Lee was the lieutenant colonel! Not only that, he was succeeded by George H. Thomas. The regiment served in the east throughout the war with the Army of the Potomac and the Army of the Shenandoah. At Gaines Mill they charged advancing Confederates to cover Federal artillery. Dyer’s list of their engagements and campaigns takes up almost two columns of his dense text. They lost 7 officers and 60 enlistedmen killed and mortally wounded, which is quite heavy for a cavalry regiment. It was an irony that at Appomattox Grant's escort was a consolidated company from Lee's old regiment, formed from B, F, and K of the 5th US Cavalry. It is not impossible that the veteran who wore this saw Lee in 1861 and again in 1865 under very different circumstances! After the war the regiment again served against Indians, this time commanded by Wesley Merritt. A very historical veteran’s item…..$395.00 SOLD

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