MUSKET AND DOCUMENT GROUP ID’D TO 15TH NEW JERSEY SOLDIER

$4,950.00

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Item Code: 988-09

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This wonderful group consists of a musket, parole paper, newspapers, wartime letter, military records and post-war pension documents pertaining to George S. Beavers of Company a, 15th New Jersey Volunteers.

George S. Beavers was born in Hunterdon County, New Jersey on February 3, 1843. Educated in the local schools young George worked as a farmer until August 8, 1862 when he enlisted in Company A, 15th New Jersey Infantry. At the time he was 19 years old.

Records show that George was present throughout his service seeing action at Fredericksburg, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Wilderness (where he was wounded in the right foot), Spotsylvania, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strasburg, Winchester, Opequan, Fisher’s Hill, Cedar Creek and Petersburg. He was promoted Corporal on March 1, 1865 and mustered out June 22, 1865.

First in the group is Beavers’ Model 1863 Springfield rifle musket. The weapon is in dark untouched condition. The barrel is black throughout and still retains its proper front and rear sights. There is light surface rust on areas of the rear sight as well as near the breech. There is also some pitting at the muzzle. The breech area also shows pitting from use. “VP” and eagle head stampings are visible but barrel date is gone. Bore is black but looks to have fair rifling. There is a good bit of dirt also.

All iron surfaces on this weapon are black and the lockplate and hammer are no exception. Clearly visible forward of the hammer is “U.S.” over “SPRINGFIELD” and behind the hammer is a clear “1864.” Stamping of eagle on the face of the bolster is just about gone. Nipple is original and shows some wear and surface rust. Action works properly.

Wood stock is dark but nice. There are the usual light signs of age wear and use but nothing major. There are no cracks. Along the left side of the barrel tang there is a small old chip. Flat opposite the lock still shows two faint inspector’s cartouches as well has the faint initials “GSB.” The same initials are also visible on the left side of the butt.

All three barrel bands are present and have the horizontal “U” stamp. Middle band is on backwards. Both sling swivels are present. The lower of the two is held on with a wood screw that matches the rest of the iron on the weapon so it has been there for some time. Ramrod is the correct type with straight shaft and is full length. Buttplate tang has strong “US” stamping.

With the rifle is a matching bayonet and part of the original leather scabbard. The socket of the bayonet is dark while the rest of the blade is semi-bright with some moderate mottling. Blade flat has a fair “U.S.” The locking ring works properly and the bayonet fits the rifle well. Approx. ¾ of the leather scabbard body remains and the frog is torn in half but both halves are present. Frog is the 8 rivet variety.

Beaver’s records do not show him being captured but he apparently was and immediately paroled. With the group is a hand written document done in period ink that reads:

SEPT. 28, 1864

I GEORGE S. BEAVERS A MEMBER OF CO.A 15TH REGT. NEW JERSEY VOLS. INFANTRY PROMISE NOT TO (take) UP ARMS OR GIVE INFORMATION OR IN ANY WAY AID IN THE EXISTING WAR BETWEEN THE U. S. AND SOUTHERN CONFEDERACY UNTIL REGULARLY EXCHANGED.

SEPT. 28TH 1864 GEORGE S BEAVERS

ACKNOWLEDGED BEFORE ME ON THE DAY AND DATE ABOVE WRITTEN. JNO WINFIELD(?), COMMDNG LOCAL FORCES, ROCKINGHAM CO.

The document was written on a page torn from a ledger book. It meas. approx. 6.25 x 4.75 inches. It is worn around the edges and has one horizontal fold line. The left end of the fold line has a slight separation.

Also in the group is a wonderful letter written by Beavers to his sister. The letter is dated “IN THE FIELD NEAR COLD HARBOR TEN MILES FROM RICHMOND JUNE 6, 1864.” Beavers begins by telling his sister that he is still living and that his wound is doing well. Apparently Beavers had been wounded in the foot during an earlier battle. He says in part “WE HAVE HAD SOME VERY HARD FIGHTING SINCE I WROTE TO YOU AND I IN TO IT AND CAME OUT ALL RIGHT. SO FAR WE HAVE SEEN VERY HARD TIMES FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS WE HAVE HAD NO REST.” After a few more sentences regarding the closeness of the lines he says “THERE CAME A LETTER LAST NIGHT FOR WM. N. PEER HIS WIFE. SHE DOES NOT BELIEVE THAT HE IS DEAD BUT YOU CAN TELL HER THAT HE IS DEAD HE WAS SHOT ON THE 12 OF MAY THROUGH THE HEAD WHEN OUR REGT. MADE A CHARGE.” In all the letter is three pages and is clearly written in ink.

Also in the group is Beavers eagle masthead discharge along with a Confederate $20 bill. Discharge is filled out in bold period ink and has the usual two horizontal fold lines but is otherwise nice. The Confederate bill has some edge teas and corner curling but is otherwise good.

There are also three copies of the PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER. The first is dated June 12, 1861 with a map of Hampton Roads on the front. The second is dated January 26.1865 with a map of the Richmond/Petersburg area and the third is dated January 27, 1865 with just headlines and no map. All three are folded in fours and are in good condition with minor edge wear.

Also present is a small song sheet titled “LINES COMPILED AND DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF CORPORAL WARREN N. DUNHAM COMPANY A, 15TH REGIMENT NEW JERSEY VOLUNTEERS WHO WAS KILLED AT THE BATTLE OF SALEM HEIGHTS, VA. MAY 3, 1863.” Sheet meas. approx. 5.75 x 8.25 inches with one vertical and one horizontal fold with minor separations.

Lastly there is an obituary for Beavers wife, a poor condition Confederate $1 bill and an original pension document from 1913.

After Beavers returned from the war he married and raised a family of 5 children. Mr. Beavers worked for years in the hotel business. He was known for his kindly disposition and genial good nature. He was an active member of the A. T. A. Talbert Post #42 of the GAR and a member of the Odd Fellows.

George S. Beavers died on October 31, 1922 in Mendham, New Jersey and is buried there in Hilltop Cemetery. [AD]

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