CONFEDERATE PEWTER BLOCK-I INFANTRY BUTTON FROM LEE’S HEADQUARTERS MUSEUM

$395.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2024-371

This confederate enlisted man’s infantry button was formerly in the collection of the Lee’s Headquarters Museum and was likely a battlefield pickup from the fields of the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg. The face is brown, with some slight greenish tone, with light brown around the periphery, next to the raised border. There are some very light dings to the edge. The biggest, still very small, at about the 6 o’clock mark. The block “I” shows some corrosion on the face, but good edges and is well delineated. The reverse shows lighter, more gray in tone, with some light brown, and has the loop in place.

Built in 1833, the house on Seminary Ridge was owned and lived in by 70 year-old widow Mary Thompson, who remained there during the battle. The farm was involved in the July 1 fighting and taken over as Lee’s headquarters since it offered a good observation point and could readily be found by couriers. Lee purportedly slept in the house the first night, before the arrival of headquarters baggage and tents. The house and property also served as a hospital for casualties of the first day’s fight and Confederate artillery units posted nearby took part in later phases of the battle.

Thompson lived there until her death in 1873. The interior was later damaged in a fire, but restored by a subsequent owner and by 1900 housed a souvenir shop, turned into a museum in 1921, with adjacent tourist cottages erected, and lastly a hotel and restaurant in the 1940s. It was purchased in 2014 by a Trust which demolished later additions to the property, returning it to its 1863 appearance, with about 200 items going to the NPS museum at Gettysburg, others distributed to appropriate NPS units, such as Fredericksburg and Spottsylvania, and the remainder sold to raise funds.  Originally sold as item R13374.  [sr] [ph:L]

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