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    Description

    Guidon Carried At Appomattox Court House. "A Flag Carried At Appomattox" is the heading of the 2 1/2" x 4" circa 1920 typewritten tag attached to the top of the 2 1/2" wide oak frame which houses this Civil War regulation 34-star silk cavalry guidon which, despite its sadly deteriorated condition, although restorable, is certainly one of the most historic Civil War U.S. flags we have ever catalogued. The remainder of the tag reads as follows: "This guidon of a company of the 5th U. S. Cavalry was at Appomattox during the Surrender 9 April, 1865. Captain Julius W. Mason commanded the 5th Cavalry as H. Q. Escort to General Grant. After the war, Mason gave this guidon to Col. Rob't Orr of the 61 Pennsylvania Vols., who in turn gave it to Reginald Hart, a famous military collector C. 1890." Reginald Hart was, of course, one of the most famed and revered military collectors of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The flag apparently, subsequent to Hart's death, and the dispersal of his collection, passed to Robert C. Laurens of Wayne, Pa. and has been in the possession of the consignor for 35 years.

    As is obvious from the stains on the backboard on which the flag was mounted, probably while in Hart's possession, portions of the flag have moved inside the frame slightly over the years. All silk construction with, remarkably, the blue silk canton with gold painted stars and the 2" pole sleeve, remaining 100% intact. The flag's original form was a swallowtail, 26" X 36", with about 30% of the red and white stripes remaining. Also included is a circa 1950 11" X 14" copy photograph from the National Archives, B 2186 111, showing the Fifth Army Corps Headquarters at Harrison's Landing, August 1, 1862 with Julius Mason seated at the lower right. Unfortunately, the period glass shattered in the frame, but has been replaced by archival-quality Plexiglas, as photographed.

    A remarkable Civil War artifact, that clearly bore witness to one of the most important events in American History. The lot comes with a notarized affidavit from the seller confirming the following information about the guidon:

    Captain (brevet major) Julius W. Mason, 5th cavalry, was appointed bodyguard for General Ulysses S. Grant in March 1864. He commanded Cos. B, F, and K and continually guarded General Grant to the end of the Civil War. After the surrender at Appomattox, when the guidon was being held by Company B, Grant's escort, it was given as a gift to Colonel Robert Orr who commanded the 61st Pennsylvania Volunteers.

    Colonel Orr in turn gave Grant's escort guidon to Reginald Hart of Philadelphia. Mr. Hart was a famous Civil War collector circa 1890. Upon Heart's death, the collection was dispersed. However, upon cleaning the attic, Hart's daughter found the framed guidon resting in a recess between the walls. She gave or sold the framed guidon to Mr. Robert C. Laurens of Wayne, Pennsylvania, who in turn, years later, sold it to George Lower, a well know dealer of Civil War artifacts in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

    Mr. Lower was known for his honesty and finding significant artifacts relating to the Civil War. Mr. Lower put out catalogues from about 1970 to 1981. He traded the guidon to me for other valuable items in my collection. Accompanying the guidon is a photograph of Captain Mason sitting of the ground to the right with other soldiers.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2015
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 20
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 2,668

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