Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Incredible Vintage Display of Historic Gettysburg Battlefield Relics as Presented to and Displayed in a New England G.A.R. Post. Absolutely the most important and historic Gettysburg relic display we've ever seen. More than a dozen items are attached to the 16½" x 34" top of the pedestal base circa 1850 veneered Empire game table. The items were apparently acquired, primarily, from Gettysburg's famed Danner Museum, circa 1865-70, mounted on the table, and the display then presented to the G.A.R. Post. A 1½" x 5½" silver plaque is affixed to the front of the table with the following inscription: "Presented/ To/ J. H. Dahlgren Post No. 2/ By Shep G. Allen & Mich. Burns".

    Mich. Burns is most likely Michael Burns who enlisted in the 9th Massachusetts Inf. on June 11, 1861, mustering out September 15, 1864. The 9th Mass. Inf. was present at Gettysburg. Additionally, although Allen does not show up on the regimental roster, the M1858 smooth side canteen with brown wool cover that is mounted at the left rear of the display is stenciled on the front "9 Mass" and "SGA" (Shep G. Allen) on the reverse. The canteen is in excellent condition with the original stopper, cord, and sling and clearly is not a battlefield recovered piece, doubtless placed there by Allen. The other items on the table were clearly recovered from a period within days of the battle to probably no more than two years after the battle and starting at the left front are as follows:

    (1) Probably the single most remarkable Gettysburg Battlefield recovered relic we've ever seen. A .58 cal. ctg. box with the front flap cut away revealing that the box was pierced with, the then snapped off 5" front section of a saber blade. The blade entered the box through the tool pouch at the left front and exited on the left side at the back seam. The box is dry and the sling buckles are missing, the blade showing commensurate patina. Retains the original tins, the left one virtually pinned in place blade by the saber blade. The box displays a 7/8" x 3¼" ink script tag on the front, "Gettysburg, Pa."
    (2) Three pieces of grape shot mounted on wooden bases engraved sequentially "July 1st July 2nd July 3rd". All in excellent condition and obviously recovered shortly after the battle.
    (3) Lying unmounted on the table amid the grape shot is an unusual rather small, 51mm x 79mm, US M1851 rectangular eagle plate, missing the silver wreath, that has obviously been struck by a projectile on the left side tearing away the upper left corner. Narrow tongue with bench number 630. Dark patina with traces of gilt.
    (4) 12 lb. solid shot script engraved "Gettysburg 1863" on a wooden base with white painted ID "First Day's FIght".
    (5) Confederate 12 lb. spherical case shot engraved "Gettysburg 1863" on a wooden base with white painted ID "Culp's Hill". Clear mould seam, excellent condition. Configured for a Bormann fuze which has not been installed exposing the fuze plug with provisions for a spanner wrench. The engraving on all of these pieces was doubtless the work of Edward Woodward, a Gettysburg citizen who developed a cottage industry of engraving Gettysburg Battlefield relics.
    (6) A US "rooster neck" cavalry spur retaining a portion of the leather boot strap. Unmounted lying between the artillery projectiles.
    (7) A 9½" high brass double twist bugle on wooden base retaining portions of a red artillery cord. Badly battered with some breaks/cracks on the bell but completely intact.
    (8) US M1840 light artillery saber scabbard that has clearly been struck and bent by a projectile 11" from the drag.
    (9) The 9th Mass. canteen described earlier.
    (10) A 6¾" x 8¼" albumen view on the original period (circa 1870) mount with period ink inscription, "Dead Horses, Artillery, Gettysburg July 1863". This is a Timothy O'Sullivan image of the Trostle Farm at Gettysburg and clearly a period copy that was likely sold at Gettysburg by one of the town's photographers. The original image was part of Gardner's Photographic Sketchbook. The first of these we've seen. Perfect condition in a 19th century gilt frame.
    (11) The final item, and possibly the piece de resistance, is a group of items recovered from East Cavalry Field, clearly immediately after the battle. The musketoon, doubtless Confederate, has a 17½" barrel and is an altered US M1842 percussion .69 caliber percussion musket, Harpers Ferry 1848. Interestingly the gun exhibits a T-lot for mounting a rear sight, which is now missing, is also missing the hammer screw, otherwise complete and as found. The stock has been struck and cracked by a bullet on the right side of the butt near the butt plate. The bullet still imbedded and clearly visible. Painted on the forestock "Getysburg, Pa. July 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 1863" and on the butt stock "E. Cavalry Field". Also mounted on the underside of the forestock is a 7/8" x 4½" printed paper label, "Dahlgren Post No. 2 G. A. R./ Memorial Hall/ E St. South Boston." Suspended from the gun is a waist belt with oval stud back US buckle, on which is mounted a US cap box and a carbine ctg. box. The ctg. box displays, on the underside of the flap, an ink script label, "Gettysburg, Pa." which is identical to the one on the .58 cal. ctg. box. The wooden block inside the box is bored for 20 ctgs. and there is a 5" piece from the end of the belt tucked inside. Wired to the trigger guard of the gun is a 6½" diameter Confederate tin drum canteen with a 4½" diameter raised inner ring. Three sling loops and an unusual two piece tapered spout that is identical to those shown on page 56 in Sylvia & O'Donnell's Civil War Canteens book. The canteen has clearly had some exposure to the elements, is dented on both sides, exhibiting a heavy coat of surface rust and a few small cracks/holes but still very sound. The table is mounted on wheels and missing the left side skirt, otherwise very good with just some scattered chips to the veneer. A truly unique and unparalleled opportunity for the advanced Gettysburg collector.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 4,027

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Shipping, Taxes, Terms and Bidding
    This item cannot be shipped using standard methods. Please contact us for more information. Sales Tax information

    Important information concerning Sales Tax and Resale Certificates. Learn More

    Terms and Conditions  |  Bidding Guidelines and Bid Increments |  Glossary of Terms

    Sold on Jun 25, 2009 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2021 September 25 - 26 Including the Mahoney Collection of George Washington Inaugural Buttons. Americana & Political Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search