MAJOR’S BARS OF CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT JOHN M. DEANE, 29th MASSACHUSETTS, LIEUTENANT, CAPTAIN, AND MAJOR

$1,250.00

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Item Code: 1164-39

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These embroidered major’s oak leaves come from a significant trove of artifacts preserved by John M. Deane and his family that we are offering in separate sales. In this case Deane mounted on a card measuring about 2 by 4 inches two square patches of dark blue cloth each embroidered with an oak leaf made of dead and bright bullion embroidery, labeling them at top, “Major’s leaves worn by me in the Army – John M. Deane.”

These are in excellent condition as is the card. That on the left showing a mellow gold patina and that on the right shows a bit darker from oxidation. Officers wore their rank insignia at either end of their shoulder strap on each shoulder. In this case the patches indicate these were worn by Deane as subdued rank insignia, doing away with the strap and attaching them directly to the coat, so as not to draw too much attention from the enemy in battle, and he seems to have decided that one leaf on each shoulder would be sufficient. They show just a little roughness to the edges and a stray thread from having been on a coat, very slight fading to the blue and one tiny spot and pinpoint hole on the right hand patch.

A 29-year old teacher when the war broke out, Deane had been in the Massachusetts militia and was one of the “Massachusetts Minutemen of 1861,” joining the 3rd MVM in going to Washington on news of Fort Sumter. They served three months, evacuating and firing the Gosport Navy Yard and garrisoning Fortress Monroe. Deane mustered out 22 July 1861 and in June 1862 was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 29th Massachusetts, making 1st Lt. 12/29/62; Adjutant 11/1/63; Captain 6/8/64, and Major 5/15/65 with a later brevet to Major of U.S. Vols to date 3/25/65. He was mustered out 8/8/1865 and in later years lived in Freetown, Mass., where he was a member of Richard Borden G.A.R. Post #46, and died 9/2/1914.

The 29th Mass. served in the Irish Brigade in the Peninsula Campaign and at Antietam, fighting at the Sunken Road. Transferred to the 9th Corps, they served in  Mississippi and Tennessee in 1863, returned east and were briefly in the 5th Corps before rejoining the 9th again for Grant’s overland and Petersburg campaigns. Seeing action at Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, and Fort Stedman, where Deane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for helping to man an artillery piece under heavy fire and aiding in the repulse of the Confederate attack. The regiment lost 4 officers and 53 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded during their service. Deane penned several of the regiment’s official reports for 1864 and 1865, and his letters have been published. He was credited with participation in twenty battles.  [sr] [ph:L]

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