GROUP OF ITEMS ID’D TO AN OFFICER IN ONE OF THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER REGIMENTS IN THE ARMY OF THE POTOMAC, THE 124TH NEW YORK VOLUNTEERS

$7,500.00
Originally $8,500.00

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Item Code: 480-132

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The items here presented belonged to John B. Stanbrough of the 124th New York Infantry also known as "The Orange Blossoms." They are well known for the stand they made here at the top of the "Triangular Field" in front of Devil’s Den on July 2nd 1863. Any of their items, even those remotely connected to this regiment, are highly prized by collectors.


The first item in the group is an imported Model 1850-foot officer’s sword with a presentation engraved on the throat. The brass of the hilt and scabbard have a very pleasing, matching, light patina. The pommel cap, knuckle bow and counter guard are of the usual design. They are untouched and have never been cleaned. The sharkskin grip has some light surface wear. The wire wrap is perfect and tight. Below the counter guard is the original white buff leather washer in good condition. The blade meas. approx. 30.25 inches long. There is a wide stopped fuller beginning at the ricasso and running for about 21.75 inches. There is also a secondary fuller running just below the false edge for 15.50 inches. The ricasso is stamped on one side with "W. CLAUBERG, SOLINGEN" while the opposite side has a standing knight. The top of the false edge, in the ricasso area, is marked "IRON PROOF." The surface of the blade has scattered mottling. The edge has a number of small nicks that can be felt more than seen though some are visible. The etching is somewhat subdued due to age and the mottling on the surface but it is very visible. In better light it really stands out. The etching design consists of a sunburst edge with a "U.S." on one side and an eagle on the other. There is also the usual scrollwork with flags and drums.

The leather scabbard is in good condition. It is solid and complete. The surface of the leather shows some loss of finish due to age and storage and there is one weak point approx. 1.25 inches above the drag. However, it is the scabbard furniture that makes the piece standout! The engraving and designs on the throat, central hanger and drag are first class. The obverse of the throat has interlocking figure eight’s with feathering between. The raised mount is strongly engraved with raised oak leaves on a fern design backing. The texture of each leaf is visible. The reverse of the throat is divided by the mount into two panels. It is on these panels that the presentation is engraved. It reads "PRESENTED TO JOHN B. STANBROUGH, 1ST LEUT. CO. I, 124TH N.Y.S.V. AUG. 25TH 1862, BY THE MEMBERS OF CATARACT ENGINE CO. NO. 3, NEWBURGH, N.Y." The engraving is well done with all the proper decorations and designs one normally sees on an inscription of this type. The name "CATARACT" and the numeral "3" are done in larger script than the rest. Again, nothing on this sword has been cleaned so the patina has darkened the inscription some but it is still very readable. The obverse of the central mount has the same design as the throat with figure eight’s and feathering between. The raised section of the mount, like the one above it, is superbly engraved with oak leaves on a fern backing. Again, the detail and texture of these leaves is visible. The reverse of the mount is blank. The engraver seemed to save the best for last. The obverse of the drag is just a wonderful example of the engraver’s art! The central theme of the drag design is a waving U.S. flag over a shield with a cross at center super-imposed over a rifle with bayonet, cannon barrel, spear and battle-ax. Above this, along the top edge of the drag, are two interlocking triangles surrounded by scrollwork and grape leaves. After the triangles intersect the lines descend on either side of the flag and shield insignia and then curl. The curl passes through a rectangle with braided bands at center that ends in a scroll and is surrounded by ivy. The very bottom of the drag has an U.S. shield superimposed over crossed flags at center surrounded by scrollwork. The reverse of the drag is plain except for some cross-hatching and scrollwork. The drag screw is missing. The scabbard has shrunk some over the years. When placed in the scabbard the sword protrudes approx. 0.25 of an inch.


The next item in the group is an officer’s sword belt complete with shoulder strap and plate. The belt itself is constructed like most officers’ belts by taking a wide piece of leather, folding each end toward the middle and sewing it in place. This gives the belt a central inner seam. On this belt the seam is closed and tight. The surface of the leather feels stiff and has moderate to severe wear. The belt has decorative stitching along all its edges. Including on the sword drops and shoulder strap. Both sword drops are complete with all hardware. The sword hook is also still attached to the belt as well as the leather half-circle that protects the uniform from the sword rubbing against it. The shoulder strap is also complete with the buckle but is torn clean through. Only one of the decorative threads connects the two pieces. One of the sword drops is also torn ¾ of the way through. The belt plate and keeper are both benchmarked "883." The plate is a NCO plate with applied silver wreath. The plate shows moderate wear to its raised surfaces and around the edges but the details on it are very good. Back has small narrow tongue.


The third piece in the group is a leather officer’s haversack. The shoulder strap is present but one of the anchor rings has been torn off the bag. All the parts are present and a professional leather restorer should be able to reattach the ring. The strap is made of black leather with a red leather underside. The brass adjuster buckle is very thin and delicate and has scalloped edges. The outside of the haversack is also made of leather. Closed it meas. approx. 13.00 x 12.00 inches. The outer top flap has a scrollwork design tooled into the leather while the edge is decorated with two lines of parallel stitching with a raised border. When opened two main pockets are exposed. The outer leather flap is lined with japanned canvas to form a large pocket with a tie-down flap. The underside of the flap is inscribed in period pencil "J. B. Stanbrough." The opposite side has one large pocket with a strap and roller buckle closure with two smaller pockets on the outside. There are four tin buttons present in the larger pocket for anchoring a liner. The underside of this flap is also inscribed with period pencil "J. B. Stanbrough." The haversack is held closed by a strap and roller buckle, both of which are now gone. The haversack does show some signs of use and there is light wear to its surfaces.


Also with the group is a small wooden box that meas. approx. 10.50 inches long x 7.50 inches wide x 3.25 inches high. Though this box is made out of thin wood it is dovetailed on the sides. The top is loose and just lifts off. In this box are three GAR cuff buttons and four coat buttons. All have plain tin backs. All are in very good condition. In the box with the buttons is Lieutenant Stanbrough’s GAR kepi. The body is a very dark blue, almost black and is in excellent condition. This a low crowned kepi with a wonderful embroidered oak leaf wreath in gold bullion with silver bullion lettering that reads "DEP’T. N.Y." Side buttons are GAR cuff buttons and they act as an anchor for a very nice twisted gold cord chinstrap. Visor is thin leather and squared with light crazing on upper and lower surfaces. Top has quatrefoil in black braid with a double row of black braid descending on the sides of the kepi. The inside is in matching excellent condition with a full sweatband and black polished cotton liner stamped in the crown with silver lettering that reads "SHANNON MILLER & CRANE, 46 MAIDEN-LANE, NEW YORK."


There is another wood box in the group that meas. approx. 8.25 inches long x 4.50 inches wide x 2.75 inches high. Box is in good shape with heavy wear to the outside. It is held closed by two brass hooks on the lid that slide into two eyes on the body of the box. Inside the box is a small drawstring bag similar to a wartime ration bag. With it are 3 dropped condition mini balls, a round ball and a piece of stone. Two of the mini balls are plain but a third has a small paper label that reads "Chancellorsville 8/9/91" on it. The round ball also has a paper label that reads "Chancellorsville 8/9/91." The small stone also has a label that appears to read "Orig (inal) Jackson Monument Aug. 9. 1891."


The group also contains two veterans’ medals. The first of the two is of gilt plated brass. The medal has a top bar with pin on back. The bar is surmounted by a 3rd Corps diamond flanked by scrolls. The face of the bar is engraved "1st LIEUT. Co. I." The edges of the face are decorated with a turreted design. Suspended from the top bar is an orange ribbon that has become slightly dirty with age. Also suspended from the top bar and hanging in front of the ribbon is a disc suspended by a chain. The center of the disc has a red 3rd Corps badge with "2 BRIGADE" at center. This is surrounded by "124th N. Y. VOL. 1862-1865." The back of the disc is engraved with "J. B. Stanbrough, Owego, N.Y." The second medal is made up of two pieces with a wide top bar that has a pin on back and a face that reads "124th New York Infantry." Suspended from this bar is a circular medal with a bust of the 124th’s Colonel, Augustus Van Horne Ellis, at center. Around the edges is lettering which reads "MANASSAS GAP TO APPOMATTOX-GOSHEN SEPT. 5, 1907 IN MEMORIAM." There is a bow of orange ribbon tied to the link between the two pieces.


Also with the group is a copy of "REVISED REGULATIONS FOR THE ARMY OF THE UNITED STATES 1861." Book has blue cloth covers with embossed eagle. Spine has title in gold with eagle. Book is complete and in good clean condition. Inscribed on the second blank page in period pencil is "JOHN B. STANBROUGH, 1st LIEUT. Co. I, 124th REGT. N.Y.S.V. CAMP CHASE SEPT. 11, 1862." With the book are three wartime documents all in good condition. One is dated March 27, 1862. It is pre-printed and filled out in ink by the Provost Marshal allowing Lieut. Stanbrough to pass over any bridge or ferry to visit relations. The next document is pre-printed in red ink and carries the seal of the State of New York. It is filled out in ink and dated August 9, 1862. It authorizes John B. Stanbrough to raise volunteers. The last document is a copy of Special Order No. 31 dated November 12, 1862 stating that Lieutenant Stanbrough’s resignation has been accepted and he is honorably discharged from the service.


John Blake Stanbrough was born in Montgomery, Orange County, New York on September 16, 1829. He learned the trade of cabinet and piano making as a young man. (With that in mind it is possible he made the wood boxes present with this group.) He studied dentistry and went into that business with his brother in 1851. He moved to Newburgh in 1859 and was living there when he helped to raise Company I, of the 124th New York State Volunteers. He was commissioned 1st Lieutenant in the Company on August 20, 1862. Five days later, on the 25th, he was presented with a wonderful sword (offered for sale here) by the members of the Cataract Engine Company Number 3 of which Stanbrough was a member. He went with his regiment to Virginia where he became ill. He resigned his commission in late October and was honorably discharged on November 12, 1862. He returned to Newburgh where he served as Assistant Chief in Engine Company No.3 and continued his dental business. In 1864 he moved to Owego and became a general hardware dealer. He eventually ended up in the stove and hot water heating business. He was active in local government, the Masonic Order and the GAR. It is known that he married on April 26, 1860 and had three children but when he died and where he is buried is not known.


This is an outstanding group from one of the most popular regiments in the Army of the Potomac.

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