127th NEW YORK SOLDIER’S WHISKEY FLASK

$695.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 480-245

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This is a pocket-size glass whiskey flask with metal screw top, leather covered upper body and lower body fitted with a metal drinking cup. Both the cap and cup are marked by James Dixon and Sons. Scratched into the bottom of the cup, around the Dixon mark, is “John Colgate / Co. {Dixon mark} [?]  / 127th Regt. NYV.” The engraving is neatly done, although the NYV is a little sloppy- perhaps the contents of the flask were at work, and the company letter is not filled in. It looks like he may have started an “A,” but not finished it. This may date the flask very early when his company assignment was not fixed or there was simply a temporary assignment that did not get picked up in the records: we find him listed as member of Company B in the regiment.

John H. Colgate (1826-1916) enlisted at age 36 in New York City on 8/18/62 and mustered in as a private for three years’ service on 9/8/62. He made corporal 11/1/63, but was reduced to the ranks on 6/1/64, and was mustered out with the regiment 6/30/65 at Charleston. The regiment spent much of its first year in the Washington area and as part of the Department of Virginia before being assigned to the Tenth Corps and the Department of the South, taking part in the operations around Charleston, including the siege of Fort Wagner and bombardment of Sumter. It was present at Bull’s Island in March 1864 and Fort Johnson in July, but saw its first severe losses at Honey Hill that November (7 killed, 49 wounded, 15 missing) and at Devereaux Neck in December, losing 14 killed, 67 wounded and 3 missing. After the evacuation of Charlestown it was assigned as the city garrison and was mustered out there 6/30/1865, having lost a total of 35 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded.

Colgate listed his occupation as lawyer when he signed up. After his promotion to corporal in November 1863 he was detailed on recruiting service in New York, where he seems to have remained until June 1, 1864, when he is listed as present and reduced to the ranks, which might have had something to do with the whiskey flask, or simply that seeing a soldier with chevrons was a better enticement to enlist. The November/December muster roll shows him detailed as clerk at the District Provost Marshal’s office, though whether before or after Honey Hill and Devereaux Neck is unclear. In March 1865 he was assigned as a clerk at Post Headquarters.

His business background likely explains getting assigned as a clerk. He listed his occupation as lawyer when he signed up, but seems to have been in the soap business after the war as a company collector and likely family member in the Colgate Soap Company, now Colgate-Palmolive. He lived in Brooklyn and was a member of Lafayette Post #140 G.A.R. His wife died in 1870. They had lost two children in the 1860s. He passed away in 1916, just shy of his ninetieth birthday.

This is good example of a soldier’s personal effects and is nicely identified.  [sr] [ph:L]

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