PRESENTATION WATCH ID’D TO 5TH CORPS ORDNANCE OFFICER

$850.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 729-66

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Call 717-334-0347,
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This wonderful silver pocket watch was presented to Captain Rodney Dexter, 5th Corps Ordnance officer by the Teamsters of the Corps in March of 1865.

The watch has a silver case with hinged lids front and back. The top of the watch has the usual stem with a silver loop for attaching to a chain.

Depressing the button at the top of the stem opens the front lid which is hallmarked on the inside. These hallmarks show that the watchcase is made of English silver and was produced in Chester, England in 1859. The face of the watch is white with Roman numerals around the edge and long, thin, delicate looking hour and minute hands. The seconds are ticked off on a smaller dial at bottom center of the face. The second hand has broken free but is present within the crystal that covers the face. The top center of the face is marked “ELGIN NAT’L WATCH CO.” Elgin did not use this name till 1874 so the face may be an early replacement.

Opening the back cover shows the same hallmarks that are found on the front lid. The back of the watch has one hole for winding. The key is present. We've been told by a customer knowledgeable about watches that the escape balance is broken (tiny pivots broken on arbor shafts are broke).Very nicely engraved on the back of the watch is “PRESENTED TO CAPTAIN RODNEY DEXTER ORDNANCE OFFICER OF THE 5TH ARMY CORPS BY THE TEAMSTERS AS A TOKEN OF RESPECT. MARCH 1865.” The engraving is strong and very readable.

Rodney Dexter was born in Victor, New York in 1832. At the time of his enlistment he was described as 28 years old, 5’9” tall with dark eyes, dark hair and a dark complexion and by profession he was a clerk. Dexter enlisted as 1st Sergeant of Company B, 100th New York Infantry on September 2, 1861 and was mustered in on the following October 21st.

The regiment was assigned to the 4th Corps of the Army of the Potomac and served in the Peninsula Campaign. From a document Dexter filled out for the state of New York we know he saw service at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Bottoms Bridge, New Kent Courthouse, Seven Pines and White Oak Swamp. When asked on the form if he did any special duty Dexter replied “NONE-UNLESS YOU CALL DIGGING IN TENACIOUS MUD UP TO YOUR KNEES SPECIAL SERVICE-AND SEVERAL HOURS AT A TIME UNDER FIRE.” On the same form Dexter claims to have been lightly wounded on the ankle by a shell fragment at Seven Pines. On July 7, 1862 Dexter entered the hospital with typhoid fever. He was discharged on August 14, 1862.

On July 25, 1863 Dexter was commissioned a 1st Lieutenant in Battery K, 4th New York Heavy Artillery. At the time the regiment was assigned to the 22nd Corps and the Defenses of Washington. In March of 1864 the 4th New York Heavy Artillery was assigned to the Army of the Potomac as infantry. They served in the 6th, 5th and 2nd Army Corps during the last year of the war. In March of 1863 Dexter was promoted to Captain and the following May he was appointed as Ordnance Officer for the 5th Corps. He served until early 1865 when the death of his father caused him to take a leave of absence. It was around this time that the watch offered here was presented to him.

Captain Dexter was promoted to Major by brevet for “gallant and meritorious services during the war.” He was mustered out at Washington, D. C. on September 26, 1865.

Rodney Dexter had married in 1857 and he lived with his first wife until her death in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 19, 1908. He remarried in 1911 but within a year left her in New York to visit his daughter in Cedar Rapids and never returned.  He died December 21, 1918.

The watch comes with Dexter’s military and pension records from the National Archives.

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