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    [Battle of Gettysburg]. Coat Button and Two Related Documents. This small Union general service button belonged to Cpl. Nelson Fader of the 8th Illinois Cavalry. Measuring .5" in diameter, it features a modified seal of the United States. Affixed to a piece of paper measuring 3.75" x 1.5" (sight), which reads: "This is a button off of your grand fathers coat that he wore in the civil war." With the button are two other documents. The first, one partially-printed page, 14.75" x 10", Washington, October 10, 1864, announces the appointment of "Nelson Fader . . . Corporal in Company M of the Eighth Regiment of Illinois Cavalry." Signed by Col. William Gamble and Lt. Alexander Riddler. The second is an unused, 8.5" x 11", partially-printed discharge notice. All three items are framed to an overall size of 25" x 29.5".

    The 8th Illinois is one of the more famous regiments in Civil War history. Serving in the Army of the Potomac throughout the entirety of the war, they weathered most of the major battles in the Eastern Theater. They are also celebrated for having fired the first shots of the Battle of Gettysburg when Lt. Marcellus E. Jones, using a borrowed rifle, fired at an unidentified Confederate officer who was half a mile away. Lt. Riddler, who signed the above appointment, was with Jones when he fired the shot. Near the end of the war, the 8th participated in the manhunt for John Wilkes Booth and served as the slain president's honor guard while he lay in state in the Capitol.

    Simon Nelson Fader (1835-1918) enlisted in the 8th Illinois Cavalry on September 9, 1861. He served throughout the war and was involved in several major engagements. According to records, Fader, who was captured after the Battle of Chancellorsville, was in Libby prison during Gettysburg. He survived the war and was mustered out in July 1865.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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