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    Description

    The Gold 2nd US Cavalry Epaulets of Albert Sidney Johnston as a Colonel Two beautiful gold dress epaulets of then-Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, US Army circa 1855. Albert Sidney Johnston, hero of the Confederacy, killed at the Battle of Shiloh, had a long and respected career as a Union Army officer before the war. A Kentuckian by birth, he spent much of his life in Texas. After graduating from West Point in 1826 he was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 2nd US Infantry and served in the Blackhawk War. He resigned his commission in 1834 and returned to Kentucky, but he was destined to his serve his country as a soldier.

    Later in 1834 Johnston became a farmer in Texas and joined the Texas Army to fight for independence from Mexico, rising to the rank of Senior Brigadier General of the Texas Army and later Secretary of War to the new republic. He resigned in 1840 and returned to Kentucky but his urge to serve as a military officer could not be suppressed. He returned to Texas during the Mexican War and served as a colonel of the Texas Army under General Zachary Taylor. After his election as President of the United States, Taylor appointed Johnston a major in the US Army where Johnston served as a paymaster. By now a career army officer, President Franklin Pierce appointed Johnston as colonel of the newly formed 2nd Cavalry. It is from this era of the great career soldier's life that these two ornate gold epaulets originate.

    Still in their original metal case, these two gold dress epaulets were manufactured by the W. H. Hortsman and Sons Company of Philadelphia. They were sold by the E. Owen and Son military merchant tailors of Washington DC. The metal case still bears the tailor's label with the name "A. S. Johnston, 2nd US Cavalry" written in pen on the lid. The brass and gilt epaulets with gold thread and coils that extend down from the shoulder boards display the colonel's spread eagle device on the gold, silk-threaded boards. Significantly, the number '2' denoting the 2nd Cavalry is directly beneath the eagle. A gold Horstman federal eagle button is attached at the collar end of each epaulet.

    Albert Sidney Johnston would have only worn these epaulets for a short two years since he was given the brevet promotion of Brigadier General in 1857. This perhaps accounts for the pristine condition in which these epaulets are found today. As the Civil War became eminent, Johnston was serving as commander of the Department of the Pacific in California where he resigned his commission to fight for the Confederacy.

    As a skilled and experienced soldier having fought in four wars, including the Utah Expedition to put down the Mormon uprising, Johnston could have had high command in the Union Army as well. In May of 1861 he was appointed to the second highest command in the newly formed Confederate Army by President Jefferson Davis. He was much loved by his Confederate troops making his death at the Battle of Shiloh only a year later that much more tragic.

    These gold dress epaulets are a rare and historical uniform insignia of a Confederate general's military career.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,528

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