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    Clifford Stickney Shell Jacket, Commission and Archive. Extensive archive of material related to three brothers from Chicago who served in the army and navy (two seeing active duty during the war): Charles W. Stickney, Clifford Stickney and Joseph S. Stickney. Charles was part of Co. B Illinois 1st Artillery ("Taylor's Chicago Battery"). He served from August 7, 1862 to July 6, 1865 and was present, along with Clifford, at the Siege of Vicksburg. Clifford was a lieutenant in Co. C, 72nd Regt. Illinois Infantry Volunteers, serving from August 21, 1862 to August 7, 1865 (remaining in the military until his death from yellow fever in 1867). He was attached to the U. S. Army Signal Corps beginning March 3, 1863. The Signal Corps played a vital role in the operation of the army, providing reports of enemy movements, relaying urgent messages between commanders and monitoring transport. Joseph attended the naval academy during the war, but did not see active duty before war's end, graduating Annapolis and remaining in the Navy until 1868. The archive includes an assortment of items, most notably Clifford's shell jacket and commission signed by President Lincoln, as well as a series of diaries (two rebound) covering his entire military career and well over 100 letters, housed in binders, separated by author.

    The open dark blue wool Zouave-style jacket is trimmed in blue/green worsted tape along collar, cuffs, seams and front. Good period sleeve cut, tufted shoulders. The front with 31 of its 32 original ball buttons. The inside of the jacket is marked in period ink "Clifford Stickney / Anderson Rifles / June 23. 1861 Chicago Il". The interior itself has great character and is complete and sound, the body and sleeve linings constructed of brown cotton, edged in light blue silk. The false-front jacket has no means of closure. There are a few small holes in the worsted tape and body along with minor wear to the interior, but the jacket is in fine original condition overall. Anderson Rifles was most likely one of the obscure militia units raised at the onset of the war and named after Robert Anderson, later to be incorporated into a larger more well established unit. The commission is referenced in one of Stickney's diaries that make up part of the lot.

    Abraham Lincoln appointment of Clifford Stickney. Framed, 15 1/2" x 19 5/8" sight size, vellum document appointing Clifford Stickney as First Lieutenant in the Signal Corps. Dated July 15, 1864. Signed by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton and President Abraham Lincoln. Folded in twelfths with applied blue saw-tooth seal. The document exhibits fading to the inked inscriptions.

    There are nine diaries and one account book written by Clifford. There is one diary written by Charles. Clifford's diaries begin on July 28, 1862 when he first enlisted and end in 1867, just prior to his death. Charles's diary and account book covers the period September 18, 1862 to July 12, 1863. He served as a bugler, in addition to his duties manning the caissons. Some of the locales mentioned include Grand Gulf, Port Hudson, Young's Point, Haines Bluff, Millikens Bend and Vicksburg. There is an extensive description of an intense two-day battle at Vicksburg. General Sherman is cited numerous times. Charles had dinner with General Grant aboard the "Magnolia" and relates the report of Stonewall Jackson's death ("the best general that the rebels had.") The entries are written on facing pages in pencil. The script is very small, with some smudges, but can read with some patience. "... five days ago the frigates Hartford & Albatross came up past Port Hudson from Farragut's fleet and destroyed the rebel rams Webb & Queen of the West. Our boat Mississippi was sunk while passing the batteries... yesterday [April 21, 1863]... the troops comprising our division... were addressed by Adjutant General Thomas on the policy of the Administration with regard to 'Gemmens of Color'... They were to be armed and organized into regiments officered by white soldiers taken from our ranks and to be used in any useful way by the Government... We saw that a volunteer courier from Gen. Pemberton, Reb Commander at Vicksburgh, came and gave himself up to Grant with the dispatches he had, the letter was to Johnston calling upon his service to relieve him by calling out volunteers & coming up on our rear." Some loss and restoration to the concluding pages.

    Clifford's diaries include a pre-war account and note book, a complete diary for the year 1866 with a tipped in CDV photo of Clifford as Major ("Assistant Adjutant General U. S. Volunteers Albany, N.Y. January 1, 1866") and an 1867 diary that ends on September 21, 1867 and includes his last will & testament. There are seven diaries of various lengths and sizes that cover his entire service during the war. One of these may have been written post-war. It is 112 pages long, dated July 28, 1862 to March 31, 1863, and captioned a "diary of my life while engaged in the war to put down the 'Rebellion of 1861'" as part of the 1st Board of Trade Regiment of Chicago. This volume contains a CDV portrait of Stickney taken during a furlough visit to Chicago in 1864. The main battle descriptions evolve around Vicksburg, Kennesaw Mountain and Atlanta with references to Petersburg and the Siege of Richmond, plus the surrender at Appomattox. There are numerous ink sketches showing troop placements and battle fields (Clifford was an adept map maker and these sketches reflect that skill). The life of a Signal Corp member is detailed quite thoroughly, as are messages to and from Union commanders. The content is generally quite good and there are many choice quotes we made note of, but space precludes us citing all of them. Clifford had contact with Generals Grant, Sherman, Logan, Blair and McPherson, among others, often relating private conversations he held with each. His first conversation with Sherman covers several pages and occurred during Sherman's visit to the Signal Station. In a second conversation, Sherman credits a Signal dispatch he sent with saving the army at Altoona. Some excerpts: "...The great numbers of graves of our poor soldiers was a noticeable and sad sight. They are buried along the levee, their resting places marked by a board slab on which some comrade has chiseled with a knife their name Company Regt and time of death... Yesterday I was ordered to establish a Signal Station at Gen. Sherman's Hd. Qr's. I reported to Gen. S. whom I found a very pleasant gentleman...The bodies of a rebel Capt & Lieut were shockingly burned and mutilated by the burning of the building in which they were killed by a shell... This day [May 18, 1863] was spent by our troops in destroying and devastating everything that could give aid and comfort to the enemy... [message from Grant to Halleck] Vicksburg is finally ours. The place has surrendered with 45000 prisoners. The victory is complete. The Miss is now open... There has been quite a fight at Millikens Bend where the new negro regiments fought very well... Each side would put their guns over and shoot at random & hand grenades were thrown by each party... [message from Grant to Porter] I have given the rebels a few hours to consider propositions of surrender. All to be paroled here. Officers only to take their side arms... We have learned to our satisfaction that Lee's invasion of Pennsylvania has been checked by Gen Meade at Gettysburg.... word coming that ammunition was getting out. I got a box and carried it up the hill. I took it into the corner and one of the deadliest fires I ever was in. My appearance with the cartridges was loudly applauded as the little band in that corner was nearly out... Lt. Dunlap brought out to my station my appointment and with it my commission from 'Old Abe'... At twelve o'clock we witnessed the execution of three deserters from our army who had been retaken by Sheridan in the Shenandoah Valley... the drop fell and they seemed to die very easily. It was a mild sunny day and in a short time it was all over and they were buried at the foot of the gallows... I saw also for the first time Maj. Gens. Sheridan, Merritt & Custer. The former said he expected an attack. Said he 'We have cut off Lee with 25000 men. He thinks I have only cavalry and may try to cut through. Have works thrown up'..."

    The binder containing the Clifford Stickney archive is quite extensive, containing documents, ephemera and letters from 1852 to his death in 1867. We have his 1862 and 1864 commissions signed by Governor Yates (quite handsome and graphic), thirteen pre-war letters, sixty-four war-date letters (a few partial examples, various lengths, some on 72nd Illinois Regiment letterheads, datelined Holly Springs, Memphis, Millikens Bend, Vicksburg, Pulaski, Kennesaw Mountain, Petersburg, near Richmond), four undated partial letters likely of Civil War vintage, nineteen post-war letters, transmittal envelopes and assorted ephemera. We have not read the letters for content, but assume they reflect the same subjects and events covered in the diaries.

    The second binder for Charles W. Stickney (Military Division of the Mississippi September 1862 to May 1865) holds forty-six war-date letters and twenty-eight post-war letters. Some of the war-date letters have ink sketches. They are datelined Memphis, Nashville (Head Qrs. General Grant), Vicksburg (many examples), Millkens Bend, Young's Point [LA], Chattanooga, Savannah, New Berne, Petersburg. Some of the items counted as letters are actually partial diaries (one is 27 pages long and talks about the march from Meridian to Vicksburg, another is 83-pages long covering the last ten months of 1864, written in various hands with excellent content, and a partial ten-page journal written in March 1864 or 1865 with good content).

    The Joseph Stickney binder contains a variety of material, including 107 transmittal envelopes between family members (most lacking stamps, varying degrees of condition and completeness), a July 1861 railroad pass for Clifford Stickney from the period of his first enlistment, an 1863 Annapolis record card with ranking, a CDV of sister Caroline and post-war letters from Harper & Brothers indicating she was a published writer (You go, girl!), six war-date letters from Joseph to Carrie, forty-one letters written to-and-from family members including the Stickney brothers plus a handful or assorted letters and documents.

    This is an outstanding archive that contains many significant artifacts and manuscripts dealing with some of the key commanders and battles of the Civil War. Unfortunately, space and time limitations preclude us from a thorough examination, but we feel confident the winning bidder will be pleasantly surprised by its scope and quality.




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
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