U.S. 4.52 INCH 12-POUND SPHERICAL SHELL FOUND ON BENNER’S HILL, GETTYSBURG – GEISELMAN COLLECTION

$995.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 851-06

Here is an outstanding, original U.S. 4.52-inch solid spherical shot. Shot rounds such as this were usually fired to ricochet from one target to another causing extensive damage. This shell has provenance to the Chritzman collection of Gettysburg Civil War items; it was found in relic condition on Benner’s Hill. It is moderately pitted with a few very small gouges. It weighs 12 pounds, is unfused, and was meant to be fired from a 12-pounder smooth bore gun. This piece was identified in John Geiselman’s collection from the museum listing. Originally sold as Item# R11032.

Henry Chritzman was born around 1821, and he and his brother George were responsible for the construction of the Evergreen Cemetery gatehouse, a well-known landmark in Gettysburg. The attractive brick Italianate style landmark was erected between September and November of 1855 for a total cost of $1,025.00 and was designed by Stephen Button of Philadelphia.

Chritzman was a 40 year old resident of Gettysburg, PA and a builder by trade when he enlisted on 4/20/61 as a private; on that date he mustered into Co. E, 2nd PA Infantry. He mustered out on 7/26/61 at Harrisburg. He re-enlisted and on 12/14/61 he was commissioned into Co. K, 101st Pennsylvania Infantry (the local Gettysburg company) as a Captain. Chritzman was wounded at Fair Oaks, VA on 5/31/62, receiving a gunshot wound to the left leg and was "sent north" the US General Hospital at Harrisburg. His post-war pension claim indicates that "from the effects of said wound he has lost the use of his left leg, also it prevents him from following his usual occupation, "cabinet maker", or any other." Though his military records include several requests for leave and statements from army surgeons attesting to the severity of his wound and his inability to return to active service, Chritzman was dismissed on 2/4/63 for being "absent without leave since the 16th day of July 1862" by command of Brigadier General Palmer. Special Orders No. 212, issued by the Adjutant General's office in Washington on May 12, 1863, amends his dismissal to an honorable discharge to date back to 2/4/63, "it appearing that during the time absent he was sick from wounds". Post-war census records reveal that Chritzman and his family were living in Gettysburg in 1870, and had moved to Washington, D.C. by 1880. Records for the U.S. National Homes for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers revealed that Chritzman was admitted to the Roseburg Branch home in Hampton, VA in 1884. Pension records indicate that he died in Gettysburg on July 6, 1896 at the age of 76, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, having suffered from the effects of his wound for the balance of his life. John Plank Geiselman had acquired items from his collection.

The individual who purchased this item varnished and lightly cleaned the shell, and applied white paint indicating its location of recovery. Below you will find photographs of the shell in its current state, and photographs of it in the never cleaned condition in which it was originally sold by us. If interested, we can have the paint removed and the shell restored more to a relic look. This would involve a fee of a minimum of $50.00.

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The Horse Soldier is pleased to offer a number of items from the John P. Geiselman collection, a collection that was on display for many years at the Geiselman Country Store Museum on Barlow - Two Taverns Road. Geiselman began his collecting as a child in the early 1920s, and during the pre-World II period had access to artifacts that had been purchased earlier at the estate sales of the Trostle, Rogers, Rose, Weikert, and Wentz farms - local properties that figured prominently in the battle and its aftermath. During this period he had access as well to the Hill , Plank, and Stewart collections, and was able to acquire other items that had been sold from turn-of-the-century relics establishments such as the Danner, Ziegler, and Oak Ridge Museums. Furthermore, Geiselman carefully documented most artifacts, and collectors perusing the list will be able to note, in many instances, not only the source of the relic and the date of its recovery, but also the part of the battlefield from which it came. In other words, his collection is the last major grouping of Gettysburg artifacts assembled and documented by a local resident.

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