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    Description

    "Keep this for my sake..."

    Private John Gaither, a Virginia Confederate 1/9th Plate Ambrotype. Two notations by the portrait's sitter, one in pencil and the other penned, are written inside the case behind the image as follows: "John R. Gaither. August the 11th 1863" and "presented Martha G Gaither August 12th 1863 keep this for my sake". Shown is a clean shaven young rebel wearing a grey jacket with shoulder straps and side pockets. Eight two-piece Virginia State Seal buttons are visible. The plate shows moderate haloing and has a few peripheral spots that do not detract in the least. The case is quite worn, however, and lacks the velvet matt on the lid's underside.

    By the time this haunting portrait was made, John Gaither had been a Confederate soldier for two years and had witnessed some of the fiercest fighting of the Civil War. Private Gaither joined the "Rockingham Rangers" - Co. "B", 10th Virginia Infantry - in the valley town of Harrisonburg on July 9, 1861. His regiment made history with the Army of Northern Virginia from Second Manassas through Appomattox. Gaither himself was wounded at Cedar Run, Virginia on August 9, 1862. He recovered, fought on and was with his regiment until captured at Spotsylvania C.H. on May 12, 1864. He would never see the Old Dominion again. After a hot summer at Point Lookout, Maryland, Gaither was sent to the notorious prison camp at Elmira, New York. He died there of disease on September 9, 1864 and inhabits Gravesite 301 in Elmira's Woodlawn National Cemetery.

    Provenance: The Tharpe Collection of American Military History

    Exhibited: The Liberty Heritage Society Museum


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,001

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