EPAULETTES IDENTIFIED TO BRIGADIER GENERAL WILLIAM H. BROWNELL

$395.00

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Item Code: 128-1053

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The body of the epaulettes are made of a gold ribbed material that has scattered small stress separations and light surface dirt. The body has a border of thick gold twisted bullion that is flanked on both the inside and outside by gold dead bullion. There is a raised brass clamshell that is outlined on the exterior side with a double row of gold dead bullion. The exterior clamshell edge is outlined with two types of bullion material done in an alternating pattern. The whole edge is covered in gold tape over which is wound a single row of twisted bullion outlined on each side with a single strand of bullion wire.

The rank field begins with a three-piece Staff Officer’s Eagle button. Inside the clamshell is a worn blue cloth pillow with silver wire around the base. The line of silver is outlined on both sides with dead gold bullion. On the face of the pillow is the number “47” done is a heavy gold bullion thread that has darkened with age. Suspended from the bottom of each clam shell are heavy twisted bullion tassels.

The underside of the body is lined with a red leather while the underside of the clamshell is lined with a matching red felt. The attachment hooks and bars are of brass and are partially separated from the uppers on both epaulettes.

Both epaulettes are in identical condition as far as cleanliness and wear.

With the epaulettes is a cabinet card image of Brownell in uniform and probably wearing the epaulettes offered here. Image dates from the 1870’s or 80’s and was taken by RICHARDSON BROTHERS of Broadway and Brooklyn, New York.

Image is clear with good contrast and is sepia in tone. Image comes framed in an album page.

Also with the group is Brownell’s commission to Colonel and Chief of Ordnance to date from January 19, 1886. The document is on vellum and is clearly readable with the seal still attached. The seal has some surface creases and one small area where the paper has lifted from the vellum. Document meas. approx. 18.75 x 12.25 inches.

William Brownell was born in Brooklyn and was educated there. His obituary says “He gave his early manhood to business training.”

Brownell entered the National Guard as a Private in Company E of the 47th Regiment on October 12, 1869. He was promoted to Corporal on November 20, 1871 and Sergeant July 24, 1872. He received a commission as 2nd Lieutenant in May of 1873 and 1st Lieutenant in January of 1874. His climb up the ranks continued in October of 1874 when he became Captain of his Company and was chosen as Major of his regiment in December of 1874. Brownell rose to Lieutenant Colonel in December of 1875 and to Colonel in September of 1877.

The rank of Brigadier General was reached in September of 1881 receiving command of the 4th Brigade. The National Guard was re-organized in August of 1886 when Brownell was rendered a supernumerary.

At the time of his death in November of 1888 he was the Assistant Chief of Ordnance, a post he had held since January of 1886.

One of Brownell’s accomplishments was a tactics manual he wrote to handle street riots. He is buried in Cypress Hill Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.    [ad]

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