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    A remarkable touchstone to one of the Civil War's great commanders.

    Brigadier General Shoulder Straps Worn by Gen. William T. Sherman at the Battle of Shiloh with Autograph Letter Signed Presentation. This remarkable grouping was mounted by the family many years ago and includes the following: A 7.75" x 8.5" ink script letter written by Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman. Bright and crisp with just some minor scattered insect damage at the edges not affecting text. No heading, "Dear Stuart, I send you two pairs of shoulder straps. Those wrapped in paper worn by me at Shiloh. I commit them to your care with absolute knowledge that they are fully merited and will be appreciated. Yr. friend, W. T. Sherman Maj. Genl Memphis Dec. 16, 62". "Stuart" is Col. David Stuart who commanded the 2nd Brigade of Sherman's Division at the Battle of Shiloh, where he was wounded while holding the far left flank of the Union line. Stuart refused to leave the field and received Sherman's accolades for his bravery. Stuart was originally commissioned Lt. Col. of the 44th Illinois on July 22, 1862, and then Colonel of the 55th Illinois on October 31, 1861. Sherman's high regard for his competency led to the brigade command at Shiloh. The set was consigned to Heritage by Stuart's direct lineal descendant.

    Attached at the top of the letter is a regulation Hardee hat side plate, tin backed and gold bullion embroidered. Perfect condition and being as it is not mentioned in Sherman's letter we assume it belonged to Stuart. The set of straps on the right have small paper labels on the verso from the maker Jas. A. Smith with 1861 patent dates. Single stamped brass, false embroidered borders. The originally black wool background have now faded to light green, each strap with a separately affixed silver star. The top strap has one tiny moth hole, the bottom strap three small moth holes. The set of straps on the left has double width stamped brass false embroidered borders. The lower strap faded to light green with a number of small moth holes, while the top strap is about perfect. Both with separately affixed silver stars with pebbled texture finish. All straps have black wool undersides. Although it is impossible to be certain, it is reasonable to assume that the set of straps on the left is the set used by Sherman at Shiloh, if for no other reason than the fact that one of the straps has survived without fading or moth damage and was more likely wrapped in paper while the others were exposed to fading and some mothing.

    Sherman was promoted to Brigadier General by Lincoln personally, in the field, on July 23, 1861, and Major General May 1, 1862, doubtless with one or the other of these two sets of straps on his shoulder during that entire period.

    A remarkable touchstone to one of the War's great commanders who would go on to serve as the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Army from 1869 to 1883, as well as a tangible link to one of the War's bloodiest battles at Shiloh, where Sherman was wounded both in the hand and shoulder, while wearing a set of these straps.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2010
    11th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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