PERIOD PENCIL SKETCH OF THE BODIES OF MAJ. SULLIVAN BALLOU, COL. SLOCUM, AND CAPT. TOWER LYING IN STATE IN PROVIDENCE 1862

$495.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1054-1660

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

Major Sullivan Ballou of the Second Rhode Island is known to many from the Ken Burns PBS documentary on the Civil War, which featured a reading of the touching letter he wrote to his wife before his death at First Bull Run. (At least one acquaintance of ours found it impossible to have his teeth cleaned, the dental assistant weeping so hard as the soundtrack from the series played in the background.) The recovery of Ballou’s body, along with those of Colonel Slocum and Captain Levi Tower (all of the 2nd R.I.,) however, was also the subject of a Congressional inquiry and their bodies lay in state in New York City and in Providence in March 1862.

All three had died at First Bull Run the preceding July, but the Confederate withdrawal from Manassas in March offered the first opportunity to recover their bodies from graves near Sudley Church on the battlefield and a party led by Rhode Island Governor set out to do so. They were shocked to find that Ballou’s body had been dug up and desecrated, and managed to retrieve only ash, a few bones, tufts of hair, and fragments of clothing. Blame settled on members of the 21st Georgia, who had recently decided to take revenge on a Yankee colonel and gather a few gruesome souvenirs, but had mistaken Ballou for Slocum. The whole affair was referred to the Congressional Committee on the Conduct of the War, gained some notoriety, and makes for some grisly reading.

The remains of the three officers were honored in New York City on March 28 with an escort by the 71st NY, which had fought beside them at Bull Run. In Providence they lay in state at the armory of the First Light Infantry before their interment at Swan Point Cemetery amid a large gathering of military units, streets draped in mourning, and flags at half-staff.

The 8 1/4" x 4 1/4" sketch shows the interior draped with a striped canopy with two large chandeliers suspended from the ceiling. The three coffins are placed side by side on low biers and covered with United States flags. Other flags, draped about their poles stand at the head and foot of each coffin. To the rear of each stands a fan of muskets with bayonets fixed and a round shield with stars at the top, a US shield in the middle, and the officer’s name at bottom, from left to right Tower, Slocum, and Ballou. At the head of each coffin stands a guard in zouave uniform with musket. The reverse of the sketch bears a period pencil inscription, slightly misrepresenting the date of the sketch, signed “W.R.P.,” reading: “Bodies of Col. John S. Slocum Maj. Sullivan Ballou and Capt. Levi Tower lying in state in armory of First Light Infantry in Providence, R.I. after the Battle of Bull Run July 21, 1861.”

The sketch is very well done and in wonderful condition. It would look great in a frame that showed both the drawing and inscription. It would fit in very well with a collection of Rhode Island material or one related to the Battle of First Bull Run.  [sr]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS,

CLICK ON ‘CONTACT US’ AT THE TOP OF ANY PAGE ON THE SITE,

THEN ON ‘LAYAWAY POLICY’.

Inquire »

Inquire About PERIOD PENCIL SKETCH OF THE BODIES OF MAJ. SULLIVAN BALLOU, COL. SLOCUM, AND CAPT. TOWER LYING IN STATE IN PROVIDENCE 1862

should be empty

featured item

MODEL 1860 CAVALRY SABER AND PORTRAIT ID’D TO 15TH PENNSYLVANIA CAVALRY MEDAL OF HONOR WINNER

This small group of items is identified to 1st Lieutenant Anthony A. Taylor of Company a, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry who received the Medal of Honor for actions at Chickamauga. The first item in the group is a well-used enlisted man’s Model 1860… (945-352). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

07
Aug

The Gettysburg Show scheduled for June has been postponed until Sept. 25th - 27th. Learn More »