IMPRESSIVE G.A.R. CANE FOR A VETERAN OF THE 121st NEW YORK

$2,500.00

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Item Code: 490-2642

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spiraling down the shaft. The carving is forceful, apparently outrunning the carver’s spelling abilities at points. The top is formed by simple swell with a flat top. The most prominent element is a very folky eagle carved over Sixth Corps badge and the dates “62  65” on a raised spiral. Next to that is “121 H NYV,” the “H” apparently being a company letter, though among the dense carving we have looked in vain for the name or a reasonable set of initials for the veteran, though we can say he was proud of the regiment and wildly inventive in his carving.

Below the corps badge and 62-65 date, the carving seems to run: “ANTAM14DEOTEM FREDRIKSBURGH NO 1 AND 2 SALM CHURCH MAY 63 GULI 123 GETTYS.BURGR [H?] MINE RAN.” Needless to say the apparent “14” in the middle of his attempt at “Antietam” might be something else. “GULI” for “JULY” needs no comment.

The “121HNYV” leads into “RAPPAHANNOCK NOVR 4 63. 6 PS ARTELLERY WITH 700 PRISENERS PONTOON BRIDG. BRAVE COL UPTIN AND 121”.

Directly below the “121HNYV” another line starts: “MAY ERNESS 5 6 GEN JOHN SEDGWICK KILLED MAY 7 64 8. COLD HARBER 17 BURGH PETERSBUGH” It seems he could not work in “WILD” to form “WILDERNESS” and allowed it to interfere with the date, and at the end of the line jumped to the end of “Petersburgh” and then started over again.

Two other lines read together, “WINCHESTER OCT 19 CEDER CREEK LITTLE PHIL SHERDIAN DROVE / EARLY UP THE VALLEY PELL MELL 22 64 ND.” This reads fairly smoothly, though it looks like 22ND was intended to be the date and it was interrupted by the year 64.

The final line is short and appears at the top, on the other side of the eagle from the regimental designation: “WPD. RR. SAILOR. JUN 65” “Sailor” we take to be Sailor’s Creek” and the date is when they mustered out. The “WPD” could be the veteran’s initials and “RR” could refer to the Weldon Railroad, but it defies our powers of explication.

The cane commemorates one of the most battle-hardened units of the war. Commanded by Emory Upton, the regiment was nicknamed “Upton’s Regulars” and spent its entire service in the 6th Corps, fighting in the Army of the Potomac, with additional service under Sheridan in the Valley in 1864. It took four battle flags at Rappahannock Station and was one of twelve picked regiments selected by Upton for his charge at Spottsylvania. It fought in 25 great battles, losing 14 officers and 212 enlistedmen killed or mortally wounded. Its total of 839 killed and wounded out of 1,897 who served place it among the most hard-fought Union regiments.  [sr] [ph:L]

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