OUTDOOR CDV BY BRADY OF CAPTAIN MOTT OF MOTT’S BATTERY ON HIS HORSE NAMED JEFF DAVIS – MOTT LATER SERVED IN THE EGYPTIAN ARMY

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Item Code: 2022-362

Image is a horizontal outdoor CDV view of the active and interesting Captain Thaddeus P. Mott mounted on his horse named “Jeff Davis.” The pair are posed in front of a Sibley tent set up on the edge of a wood. In the background among the trees is an “A” tent with two US flags curled up around their staffs leaning against the tent opening. Also nearby are two muskets laying alongside the colors. Several men stand around in the background.

Captain Mott is seen just as he would have looked in action. He wears a dark slouch hat with open loose-fitting dark coat and dark trousers with boots and spurs. Behind the saddle is what looks like an overcoat or shelter half wrapped around a rubber blanket with saddle bags beneath. Clearly visible forward of the saddle is a pair of empty saddle holsters.

Contrast and clarity are excellent as one would expect with a Brady image. Mount has browned a bit with age. Bottom of mount has printed 1862 publishing date.

Reverse has a printed caption that reads “BRADY’S ALBUM GALLERY NO. 419 – CAPTAIN MOTT’S (OF MOTT’S BATTERY) HORSE JEFF DAVIS, - CAPTURED AT THE BATTLE OF WILLIAMSBURG.”  Publishing information is again repeated. Reverse has a small square dark stain in each corner where it was once taped into an album.

Thaddeus Phelps Mott was born December 7, 1831 in New York City, New York. Little is known of his early life except that, as a child, he "developed a spirit of adventure". He was a natural linguist and was educated at New York University where his father was emeritus professor of surgery.

At age 17, he left the country to fight in revolutionary Italy, commissioned as a second lieutenant, serving under Giuseppe Garibaldi. Suffering from ill health following his Italian service Mott subsequently served as a shipmate on various clipper ships during the next several years. He returned to California a year later and spent 1856–57 in the Mexican Army under General Ignacio Comonfort prior to and during the Reform War.

He eventually returned to the United States and enlisted in the Union Army shortly before the Civil War where he was assigned as captain of artillery at the Chain Bridge fortification in Washington, D.C. He initially served as captain of the 3rd Independent Battery, New York Volunteer Artillery, which was active on the upper Potomac during the first year of the war. Mott and the 3rd New York Battery saw action during the Seven Days Battles fighting for five consecutive hours defeating each Confederate force put against them though sustaining heavy casualties. Mott resigned as battery commander to accept a commission in the 19th U.S. Infantry on July 8, 1862.

 

A year later, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant colonel of cavalry, and reassigned to the 14th New York Volunteer Cavalry. Mott was one of the organizers of the regiment which mustered in on Rikers Island as part of a volunteer brigade sponsored by the New York Metropolitan Police. He led the regiment during the New York Draft Riots later that year. On the third day of the riots, in what would be the first major engagement of the day, Mott was dispatched to confront rioters reportedly gathering at Thirty-Second Street and Eighth Avenue. With orders to disperse the mob, Mott led a troop of cavalry and a battery of howitzers supporting General Dodge and the 8th New York Volunteer Infantry. Upon reaching Eighth Avenue, the soldiers discovered three African-Americans hanging to lamp posts "while a gang of ferocious women crowded about the dangling bodies, slashing them with knives as a mob of men estimated at more than five thousand yelled and cheered". The crowd fell back as the soldiers advanced and Mott charged forward on his horse to cut one of the men down from the lamp post. As he was doing so, a rioter attempted to drag Mott off his horse and Mott was forced to kill him with his cavalry saber.

Almost immediately after returning to his command, Mott and his men were assaulted by bricks and stones hurled by the rioters, followed by "a brisk fire from muskets and pistols". The mob charged down the street. Believing they intended to capture the regiment's guns, Mott ordered Captain Howell to bring two howitzers into position in Seventh Avenue and prepare to sweep Thirty-Second Street with artillery fire. Mott led the cavalry and infantry in a charge with saber and bayonet and managed to drive them back to Eighth Avenue. The rioters returned, however, when the soldiers withdrew to protect the artillerymen at which time Howell shouted to the rioters to surrender. The crowd's jeers and taunts prompted Howell to give the order to fire. The howitzers, loaded with grape and canister, ripped through the tightly packed mob and inflicted heavy casualties. The crowd withstood six rounds before scattering and moving northward. The soldiers were broken up into small groups to clear the side streets and cut down the men hanging from the lamp posts before returning to their headquarters on Mulberry Street. A half-an-hour after the soldiers left, the rioters returned to carry away their dead and wounded, and "again strung up the Negros". The bodies would remain there until an NYPD squad under Captain Samuel Brower could safely remove them from the site.[7] Afterwards, Mott was transferred to the Department of the Gulf where he was chief of outposts before finally resigning his commission in 1864.

Mott remained in the United States for several years after the war. In 1868, he travelled to Turkey to join the Ottoman Army and then on to Cairo where he was appointed a major general. That same year, he was named Grand Officer of the Imperial Order of the Madjidieh by Sultan Abdülaziz I. He also became a member of the "Conseal de Guerre" and saw plenty of service in the Balkans during the next few years.

\In early-1869, Mott was contacted by the then Egyptian Khedive to enlist his help in recruiting American officers to reorganize Egypt's military forces. Being subordinate to the Ottoman Empire, and thus without official diplomatic representation, Isma'il was not able to request assistance directly from the U.S. Government and instead had to rely on independent agents. Mott was an ideal candidate given his mercenary background and family connections to the Ottomans. His father, Valentine Mott, had been personal physician to Sultan Mehemet II and one of his sisters was married to the Ottoman ambassador to the United States. Generals Charles Pomeroy Stone, Henry H. Sibley and William W. Loring, all recommended by General William T. Sherman, accompanied Mott to Egypt later that year. Many of the men recruited by Mott had fought on one side or the other during the Civil War, were graduates from West Point and Annapolis Naval Academy and helped rebuild both the Egyptian army and navy. Mott and others also commanded troops in exploration missions not only to improve the overall Egyptian military establishment but also to increase knowledge of Egypt's geography.

In 1870, Mott was made the first aide-de-camp to the Isma'il Pasha. Two years later, he also became a Grand Officer of the Imperial Order of the Osmanieh. He remained in Egyptian service until his contract expired four years later. Declining to renew it, Mott instead turned over command to Charles Stone and returned to Turkey to take part in the wars between Serbia, the Russian and Ottoman Empires. He later distinguished himself during the Battle of Shipka Pass.

In September 1876, he visited Paris to consult a French physician regarding a chronic ailment. He was forced to retire from military service for health reasons three years later. Prior to his retirement, he was awarded the war medal of the "Croissant Rouge" of which, at the time, had been awarded to only 18 men including the Sultan himself. He settled in Toulon to work as an American consular agent and continued to live there with his family for over ten years until his death on November 23, 1894.    [ad] [ph:L]

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