FIRST LIEUTENANT DAVID T. POYNER, VIRGINIA MILITIA, CA. 1859; CAPTAIN BRUNSWICK GUARD, CO. A, 5th VIRGINIA BATTALION OF INFANTRY 1861

$2,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1138-1858

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This wonderful image was published on the back cover of Military Images in 2007. Poyner is shown seated in this sixth plate ambrotype cradling his 1850 pattern foot officer’s sword and wearing a single-breasted dark (blue) officer’s frock coat with full dress epaulets. Poyner wears his epaulets secured by shoulder straps bearing first lieutenant rank bars- the shoulder straps for undress uniform, in fact, developing from original narrow strap used to secure the epaulets. The U.S. uniform was codified by Virginia for its militia in 1858 and Poyner is following the state regulations, departing from the U.S. regulations only in his use of a two-piece interlocking belt plate. The image shows some of his dark trouser leg with narrow cording in the seam. The photographer has lightly gilded the trouser cord, his buttons, epaulets and straps, sword hilt and buckle and has tinted Poyner’s cheeks, but had done so delicately and not obscured much detail though we cannot make out the center portion of his belt buckle. He is posed bare-headed and wears a full chin beard. There is some spotting in the upper portion of the image, but only one touches the figure, and that only slightly at the top left of his head.

The image comes from Bill Turner’s collection, a noted Virginia collector and dealer, though when published in 2007 it was credited to a different collector. It is housed in a figural thermoplastic case with facing pad in place and is with a paper label reading “CS 10 / Lt. David Poyner.” Poyner was born about 1820 and lived in Brunswick County. He married twice: in1843 and again in 1848. He was listed as a lawyer in 1850, but as a school teacher on the 1860 census. This was likely a reference to his role in running the Rock Spring Academy, a military school he opened with his brother Digges Poyner, an 1860 VMI graduate. He was a well-off farmer as well, with real estate valued at $13,000, a personal estate of $33,000 and 34 people on the 1860 slave schedule under his name as owner.

Newspaper accounts in December 1859 list him as elected Captain of the Brunswick Guard, a newly formed volunteer militia rifle company, certainly organized as a result of John Brown’s raid in October, which might also have been his motive in opening a military academy. His rank in the photo seems certainly to be first lieutenant. The newspaper account may be in error on his rank in the Brunswick Guard or, more likely, he held a first lieutenant’s commission in the Virginia militia for some time before that.

When the war broke out, Poyner enlisted for one year’s service at Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, on May 4, 1861, as Captain of the company, which was eventually assigned to the 5th Virginia Battalion of Infantry as Company A. Some of its muster rolls are signed by Poyner as inspector and mustering officer. Also known Wilson’s or Archer’s Battalion of Virginia Volunteers, the battalion of six companies served as heavy artillery along the James River, protecting Richmond, before being transferred to Armistead’s brigade, which must have happened around April 1862, when Armistead was promoted, one year terms were running out and regiments were being reorganized for the war. Poyner was present on the rolls through April, but declined re-election and was mustered out on May 4, 1862.  He is picked up in the 1880 census still in Brunswick County and listed as a farmer. He died at Lawrenceville, Brunswick County, in 1889.

This is a strong pre-war photograph of a Virginia officer obviously stirred by John Brown’s raid and war clouds on the horizon. [SR] [ph:M]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS.

THANK YOU!

Inquire »

Inquire About FIRST LIEUTENANT DAVID T. POYNER, VIRGINIA MILITIA, CA. 1859; CAPTAIN BRUNSWICK GUARD, CO. A, 5th VIRGINIA BATTALION OF INFANTRY 1861

should be empty

featured item

FANTASTIC FRAMED DRAWING OF THE BATTLE OF DRAINSVILLE DONE BY GETTYSBURG CARTOGRAPHER EMMOR B. COPE

This wonderful and detailed drawing shows the meeting engagement on December 20, 1861 between a brigade of Pennsylvania Reserve regiments under Brig. Gen. E. O. C. Ord and a mixed Confederate force led by Gen. J. E. B. Stuart. The scene was drawn by… (1054-2733). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

26
Sep

Redding's Auction Gun Show, Gettysburg - Sept 24th-25th Learn More »

Instagram