IDENTIFIED 9TH PLATE TINTYPE OF A GETTYSBURG RESIDENT SERVING AS AN OFFICER IN THE UNION ARMY - POSED WITH A COMPANION THAT APPEARS TO BE BLIND

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Item Code: 945-253

Image shows Lieutenant James Lashell of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry seated next to and supporting a possibly blind companion.

Lashell is seated at right and wears a dark kepi with crossed sabers on the front with a small number “15” above it. He also wears a dark frock coat with shoulder straps that look to be rather large, and dark trousers. His bearded companion wears a dark civilian suit and reaches out with his left hand to touch Lashell’s left knee while Lashell holds onto the man with both hands as if to steady him. Something about the pose gives the impression that the civilian is blind.

Image has excellent clarity and contrast. The back of the tintype is lined with paper on which there is a pencil ID that looks to be modern.

Photo has a plain brass mat with the usual frame but is housed in a very nice union case. The front of the case has a heavy raised decoration of a spread-winged eagle perched on a US flag with an “E PLURIBUS UNUM” riband in its beak surrounded by a border of scrolls. Reverse has a geometric pattern at center bordered by a raised band with scrolls. The case is in excellent condition.

James A. Lashell enlisted for three months in his hometown of Gettysburg on April 20, 1861. He served as a Private in Company E, 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry and at the end of his term of service was mustered out on July 26, 1861.

He next enlisted as a Sergeant in the Anderson Independent Company of Pennsylvania Cavalry on November 30, 1861. He later helped to raise three other companies that would form a full regiment of cavalry and was discharged for promotion to command one of them on October 15, 1862. That same day he was commissioned Captain of Company B, 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry. He resigned his commission on February 27, 1863 but on March 1st he was recommissioned as Captain of Company M. He was finally discharged on May 8, 1863 and took an assignment in the US Signal Corps where he remained for the rest of the war being mustered out in December of 1865.

The 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry was organized in October of 1862 and was assigned to the Army of the Cumberland. The regiment saw action at Stones River, Mossy Creek and several smaller skirmishes.

During its service the regiment lost 128 officers and men killed, died wounds and disease plus others wounded.  [AD]

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