CDV SURGEON RUFUS H. GILBERT, BREVET LIEUT. COLONEL, 5TH NEW YORK INFANTRY [DURYEE’S ZOUAVES] / U.S. MEDICAL STAFF

$145.00 SOLD

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Item Code: P14203

No backmark. Bust view image depicts bareheaded, bearded Lieut. Colonel in frock uniform cape w/cape draped on shoulders. Facial image crisp and clear. Exhibits one spot & slight soiling of upper left-hand corner. Reverse contains penciled marking; “From the Surgeon R.B. Bontecou collection album/ CDV #1379.” Else VG. An online photo from a 2012 newspaper article confirms the ID.

Doctor Rufus H. Gilbert was a native of New York City who enlisted as a Surgeon, 4/25, 1861. He was commissioned into the Field & Staff of the 5th New York Infantry [Duryee’s Zouaves], 5/14/1861. He accompanied the regiment in its fight at Big Bethel, VA, 6/10/1861, where he performed battlefield surgery under fire, and on August 3rd was promoted to U.S. Medical Staff. Gilbert served throughout the war, was breveted Lieut. Col. U.S. Volunteers for faithful and meritorious service, 6/1/1865, honorably discharged 7/20/ 1865.

Duryea’s 5th New York Zouaves was organized in New York City, 5/9/1861. It saw action at Big Bethel—6/1/1861—one of the earliest actions of the war, and from May 1862 was attached to Sykes Division, 5th Army Corps, and was heavily engaged during the Seven Days Battles, 2nd Bull run, Antietam and Chancellorsville, before being mustered in May 1863, prior to Gettysburg. During its short two year service it lost 177 men killed and mortally wounded and by disease for a total of 211.

After the war, Gilbert developed and promoted pneumatic package and railway systems; his company Gilbert Elevated Railway built the Sixth Avenue El in Manhattan (operated 1878-1938). He resided in New York City and experienced lingering physical ailments from his time in the Union Army; although married with children he lived separately from them and died alone in July 1885 at the age of 59, and is buried in Trinity Church Cemetery and Mausoleum in Manhattan.

Excellent collectible for U.S. Medical Corps aficionados. In protective sheath. Includes internet research material.  [jp/ld]

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