ROSENSTEEL COLLECTION DISPLAY OF PIECES OF TREES FROM THE GETTYSBURG BATTLEFIELD CEMETERY

$195.00 SOLD

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Item Code: M25593

The Rosensteel name will be familiar to any Civil War collector with an interest in Gettysburg. John Rosensteel picked up the family’s first relic of the battle, a rifle found next to a dead Confederate soldier, shortly after the firing ended and succeeding generations increased the collection. John’s nephew George opened the Gettysburg National Museum just across from the National Cemetery in 1921, and this display illustrating the types of trees growing in the cemetery, put together by his daughter Angie as a school project in the 1930s, was likely part of the large collection of relics and mementos displayed by the family over the years in that museum, perhaps best known for its “Electric Map” of the battlefield.

Thirty-five small sections of branches were cut, labeled and mounted with wire on a large display board, and numbered, typed labels identifying each one were pasted underneath. All were varnished to preserve them and all of the labels are present, intact, and legible. The family collection was pretty broad, but the tradition of gathering pieces like this as mementos also goes back to the war itself, when soldiers sent home flowers or leaves cut on a battlefield, often meant as a contrast between the works of nature and the destructive work of man. The fact that these pieces came from the National Cemetery, where so many of the fallen soldiers lie, gives them a certain resonance, and the display itself is part of the history of the battlefield and what it has meant to veterans, visitors, and residents of the town.  [sr]

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