FORT SUMTER GRAPE SHOT OR CANISTER BALL

$295.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 160-12

A scarce relic from Fort Sumter: an iron ball from a round of grapeshot, canister or case-shot. The ball was on display at a G.A.R. post or war relic display and comes with its original descriptive label reading, “Grape Shot / loc[ation]. : Fort Sumpter / Don[or].: Dr. Henry Root / 54th N.Y. Volunteers.”

Root enlisted at age 26 in New York City on 11/12/61 and was commissioned as of the same day as Assistant Surgeon in the 54th NY. He was discharged on 12/4/62 for promotion to Surgeon of the 58th NY, with whom he mustered in on 1/1/63. He was wounded in action with that regiment at Chancellorsville 5/2/63 and discharged in October. In March 1865 he again joined the 54th NY, this time as Surgeon, mustering in 3/6/65 and serving until discharge to date 7/30/1866. He was awarded a brevet as Lieut. Colonel US Volunteers to date 3/13/65.

The 54th had served in Pope’s Army of Virginia and then in the 11th Corps, before transferring to the 10th Corps and the Department of the South, where it served in South Carolina. From March 1865 it served at Charleston, S.C., where it was mustered out in 1866. This would have given him plenty of opportunity to tour the remains of Fort Sumter and it was certainly during this period that Dr. Root picked up the souvenir ball that he later donated for display. The label looks to us about 1900 or so. Root died in 1908. We don’t see many Sumter relics.

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