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    Magnificent Early Ambrotype of Future Confederate Brigadier General Robert Doak Lilley

    Confederate General Robert D. Lilley - Commanded Jubal Early's Brigade - Cased 1/2 Plate Ambrotype Augusta County, Virginia, ca. 1861. Two stalwart officers, wearing the dark blue frock coats of Virginia militia, pose for an unknown photographer on the eve of the Civil War. A piece of black paper taped to the underside of the image carries a penciled note identifying the men as "Col. Rob't D. Lilley" and "Maj. James Templeton". A young Robert Doak Lilley is the smaller officer to the right. The subjects' fancy militia officer's swords have ivory grips and hang from belt rigs outfitted with two-piece Virginia plates. Their uniform coats are double-breasted and secured with fourteen Virginia State Seal buttons. An additional Virginia button is visible on Templeton's plumed cocked hat, which rests on a table by his side. Red coloring has been added to the officers' sashes and yellow has been lightly applied to their swords and epaulettes. The ambrotype is in a gutta-percha case having an embossed Elizabethan scene on the lid. The case has minimal chipping to the edges.. The image itself is in excellent condition with only a few trivial spots in the fields.

    Robert D. Lilley (1836 - 1886) was a captain with the Lee Rifles of Augusta County, Virginia. This militia unit became Co. "C" of the 25th Virginia Infantry. At Sharpsburg, Lilley, although only a captain, commanded his regiment by virtue of being the senior officer on the field. By Gettysburg he was a major. A brigadier's commission was forthcoming on June 2, 1864 when Lilley was given command of Jubal Early's old brigade. The new general served the rest of the war in the Shenandoah, being captured and losing his right arm at the battle at Winchester against Sheridan, when he burned the valley. Despite his general's rank, Lilley was better known after the war and may be seen in the famous Reconstruction-era group photo with General Lee that was taken at the Greenbrier Hotel.

    The other officer in this picture is Major James Templeton of Virginia, who was a surgeon for Lee's Army of Northern Virginia.

    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum

    ‡ The owner placed a late bid on this unreserved lot and repurchased it, subject to applicable commission.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,441

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
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