DescriptionHistoric Set of Civil War Crutches Presented to Medal Of Honor Winner General John C. Robinson by His Son and A. D. C. Lieutenant Erastus Robinson. A small, heavily worn, silver plaque, which is affixed to the hand hold of one of the crutches, is engraved in period script, "Genl J. C. Robinson/ from/ Lieut. E. R. Robinson A. D. C." Careful examination of the other crutch clearly shows there was another plaque affixed to that one as well, which is now missing. These crutches were doubtless presented to General Robinson shortly after his wounding at Alsop's Farm which resulted in the amputation of his left leg, after which he retired from the service. Erastus Robinson enlisted in the 1st Michigan Infantry on January 12, 1862 and was promoted to 2d lieutenant on April 5, 1862. On May 20, 1862 he transferred to his father's staff as A. D. C. a position he held sporadically until accompanying his father to Washington, D. C. after he was wounded. Erastus was commissioned a lieutenant in the U. S. Marine Corps on July 23, 1864. Logically these crutches would have been presented prior to that date, while he was still serving as his father's A. D. C. Interestingly, along with the extensive paperwork/records on both Erastus and the general, the crutches are accompanied by a copy of a photograph showing General Robinson, as an elderly man, holding what are clearly these crutches.
John C. Robinson served in the Mexican and Seminole Wars and commanded Ft. McHenry at the outbreak of the Civil War. After serving as Colonel of the 1st Michigan Infantry, Robinson was promoted to brigadier General on April 28, 1862. He served ably and gallantly in command of a brigade in the Army of the Potomac through the Seven Days, 2d Manassas and at Gettysburg where, in fighting on the first day Robinson's command captured a large part of Iverson's brigade. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his bravery at Alsop's farm where he was severely wounded.
The crutches clearly show heavy use with the inscription on the silver plaque heavily worn but fully legible. The crutches appear to be made of oak and retain much of the original light brown grain painted finish. They are fitted with engraved silver plated furniture where the hand holds are affixed to the uprights, and where the uprights attach to the shoulder cradles. A most unusual and historic artifact with impeccable provenance.
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