CONFEDERATE SPUR FROM THE CONFEDERATE RETREAT ROUTE AT GETTYSBURG

$395.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: R23118

This classic Confederate spur is a non-dug example from the large trove of material we recently purchased from the descendants of George W. Mowers of Fayetteville, Pa. Mowers did two tours of duty in the Civil War: a six-month stint in the 21s Pa. Cavalry from July 1863 to February 1864, and late war service in the 87th PA Infantry from February through June 1865. More significantly, Mowers’ farm and wagon making shop were located along the Chambersburg Pike just northwest of Gettysburg and Mowers picked up a number of Gettysburg relics that were preserved by the family along with some of his own material for some 124 years after his death in 1895.

Mowers may have obtained the spur on the battlefield itself, but he also had plenty of opportunity without venturing too far. His farm was on the main approach route of Confederate forces to Gettysburg on July 1, the area was the camping ground of Early’s Division on June 25, and was also near the point at which Lee’s long wagon train carrying wounded turned south during the retreat. Fayetteville is known to have been visited by Confederate cavalry on Jeb Stuart’s 1862 raid against Chambersburg, but there were also cavalry units accompanying Early’s division and the brigades of Imboden and Hampton escorted the wagon train on July 4. Mowers had plenty of opportunity for souvenir hunting. He did not enroll in the 21st Cavalry until July 11 and they trained in Chambersburg until August. He spent the next year at home, and after returning from his 1865 tour, he spent the rest of his life in Fayetteville.

This is a typically Confederate cavalry spur, made of brass like the Federal examples, but with crudely finished spur strap slots, a square neck and large rowel. The spur is in very good condition. The iron rowel shows some surface rust and small pitting, but turns freely and has not lost any points to corrosion or damage. Exactly when Mowers picked it up is not recorded, but it came from the Gettysburg area. If it came from one of the troopers escorting the wagon train, the owner was not going to spend much time looking for it. Imboden wrote a harrowing description of the “vast procession of misery,” the opening phase of which was conducted at night while a storm was going on. In an effort to get as far as possible under cover of darkness, Imboden ordered there would be no halts and disabled wagons would be moved out of the road and abandoned.

Accompanied by military & pension records from the National Archives.  [SR]

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