Lot 1447    

Archive of Colonel Ira R. Grosvenor, 7th Michigan Infantry,
2005, Historic Americana / Nov 16, 17 & 18
a large archive consisting of matched albumen photographs taken in 1861 of Colonel Ira R. Grosvenor and his wife, Sarah Alice Wood Grosvenor, 30 Civil War date letters written from Grosvenor to his wife, the Colonel's field telescope, a single silver dress epaulette with fancy embroidered eagle rank insignia, a 7th Michigan Reunion ribbon dated 1897, plus a large number of cased and paper images of the Grosvenor family, including the following: a magnificent hand-tinted salted paper image of a gentleman with a full plate daguerreian style mat; a 6 x 8.25" albumen image identified as "Aunt Sue Chapman"; a similarly sized albumen image of "Aunt Sue Chapman and Husband"; a similarly sized oval albumen image of another woman with a revenue stamp on verso; a similar sized oval albumen identified as "E.O. Grosvenor" father of Col. Grosvenor"; a framed 7 x 5.5" image believed to be Ira Grosvenor in Civilian clothes; a framed half plate ambrotype of a young woman in an oval, period gilt frame; a quarter plate and three sixth plate daguerreotypes of various men, women and children; three sixth plate ambrotypes of a man, women and children; a 9th plate tintype of a Union infantry private in a geometric Union case; a quarter plate tintype of a man; and a ninth plate tintype of a young child; PLUS an empty quarter plate case.

The oval albumens of the Grosvenors measure 8" x 10" under original gilded mats of the period, and are exceptionally well done, the Colonel's being masterfully tinted in subdued washes that impart the impression of a color photograph. Mrs. Grosvenor is not tinted, but contains much of her family's genealogy penciled on the back, clearly suggesting that the material descended from her side.

The brass-trimmed telescope with worn leather body is unmarked and extends to 13" with its original brass cover. The silver Colonel's epaulette with (correct) wide silver wire strands and exceptional embroidered large gold eagle with sequined wings bears an ante-bellum period Michigan State seal button 15mm in diameter. The button corresponds to Tice, MG205As having an elk and moose on either side of a shield with the national eagle above, no motto. The underside displays worn silk. The "Eleventh Reunion" ribbon for Dundee, Michigan, June 15, 1897 features a celluloid suspension of a camp scene with an obverse of crossed flags. The device retains the paper label of maker Whitehead & Hoag but the silk ribbon is split in three areas. The inclusion of the teeth, we think, is bizarre but not unprecedented. Ira Grosvenor was commissioned as Colonel of the 7th Michigan on June 19, 1861 and led the regiment at Ball's Bluff and on the Peninsula before resigning on July 8, 1862 due to poor health (refer to Brig. Gen. Dana's report for Fair Oaks in O.K.). The diagnosis was scurvy, and as the condition progressed, the Colonel began to lose teeth. The 7th Michigan would proceed to forge a fine record with the Army of the Potomac in subsequent campaigning.

The lot also includes a binder with family histories, newspaper clippings, and about 30 letters Grosvenor wrote home during April, May and June 1862 while engaged on the Peninsula. The early letters are from near Yorktown, and in a number of letters Grosvenor seems in awe that he is fighting at the same place Washington fought in 1781. In his letter of 19 April he notes: "We lay in the same line of rifle pits that Washington's army did in 1781 & the rebs near part of the line occupied by the British at the same time." Later he sends something home to his wife that the men made from laurel and briar roots growing in the rifle pits. While Grosvenor has some of the most difficult handwriting we have seen, his letters seem to deal primarily with the "standard" issues: commanders (mostly complaining about McClellan), weather, living conditions, morale. He felt obligated to stay with "his men" and do anything he could to keep their morale up. Typical comments such as those of his letter of 22 April: "I now have been in this siege (Yorktown) over two weeks and seem to have gained nothing of importance. The men wane in their confidence in Genl. McClellan & begin to think we must be defeated here. I keep up all the courage I can & hope to [encourage] them." Even when he began having fainting spells in early May, he refused to leave the regiment, and moved with them from Yorktown to Fair Oaks.

The letters contain a bit of battle content, most like his comment on 12 May: "I can not describe the horror of the battle field. I wish I may never see another." By the end of May, he was hospitalized for extended periods. Even here, the horrors made life unbearable. As spring progressed to summer, more and more men were becoming ill, and he notes the stench of dead, decaying bodies in camp was as horrible as the battlefield. The inactivity also took its toll. For weeks after arriving at Fair Oaks/West Point, every letter indicates that "today" or "tomorrow" they were marching to Richmond to end the war. And every day they were still in Fair Oaks. Colonel Grosvenor even began, when strong enough, to look for a secluded plantation to purchase where he could reside after the war. He decided Virginia was beautiful country. The folder also includes two letters from his wife (he mentions in one of his letters that he burned most of hers - but only after he read them!), a few letters among relatives mentioning his service, and 2 letters written after his retirement from service. There are 3 additional photographs of Mrs. Grosvenor with her letters, 1 cabinet card, 1 cdv, and one 1.5 x 2" albumen.

This lot also includes a huge assortment of family papers hundreds of photographs from albumen through early silver prints, post cards, books documents, early table top desk, programs, scrap books, land deeds, copy prints of George A. Custer & Libbie (Grosvenor’s next door neighbors in Monroe, Michigan), hundreds of letters, vernacular photo albums and so much more.

Estate of Ira Grosvenor

Albumens and epaulettes EXC. Telescope and ribbon G.
Sold: $1,725.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Fine Pair of Quarter Plate Daguerreotype Book Form Cases and Images By McClees,
Lot # 1491 - Fine Pair of Quarter Plate Daguerreotype Book Form Cases and Images By McClees,
embossed leather over wood with gilt and painted floral covers and spines with Memory Leaflet on spine with two 1/2 length seated portraits of middle aged gentleman, mats signed McClees Phila. James E. McClees (1821-1887) Born in Chester City, Pa., his family moved to Philadelphia in 1829, and he w... > Item Details
Cabinet & Boudoir Cards of Buffalo Bill and Mexico Bill,
Lot # 1071 - Cabinet & Boudoir Cards of Buffalo Bill and Mexico Bill,
lot of 4, includes cabinet card of Cody with facsimile signature with imprint of Brisbois, Chicago; PLUS second cabinet card of Cody by Rockwood, N.Y.; PLUS a 2.25" x 3.5" photo of Cody with facsimile signature, on original card stock; AND a boudoir card by Taler, San Francisco inscribed on reverse ... > Item Details
Bone Handled Skinning Knife,
Lot # 87 - Bone Handled Skinning Knife,
with 4.35" single edge steel blade with T form nickel guard, two-piece cross-hatched antler handle attached with 3 brass rivets, all with nice old patina, total length 8.4". > Item Details
Early Post-War Gettysburg Battlefield Stereoviews,
Lot # 1310 - Early Post-War Gettysburg Battlefield Stereoviews,
lot of 7 yellow mount, square cornered views, with applied paper label of Gems around the Battle Field of Gettysburg, Pa. by P.S. & H.E. Weaver, Hanover, Pa., each with a manuscript title. Includes scenes in the Devil's Den, Round Top, the Orphan's Home in the National Cemetery, and views along Roc... > Item Details
Rare Telegrapher's Presentation Album,
Lot # 1558 - Rare Telegrapher's Presentation Album,
ca 1865-1866. In 1858, a group of American entrepreneurs succeeded in laying a telegraph cable across the Atlantic and Queen Victoria sent the first message across the ocean to President James Buchanan. Unfortunately, the cable survived only three weeks under the ocean, and it was not until 1866 th... > Item Details
Ninth Plate Tintype of Enfield-Armed Yank,
Lot # 1413 - Ninth Plate Tintype of Enfield-Armed Yank,
a razor-sharp portrait of a pensive-looking bearded Federal holding his brand new Enfield rifle. The unidentified private wears the standard nine-button frock coat with full regulations accoutrements without insignia, mounted in black Union case Union Camp Scene Berg #1-130 (Krainik #368) with geom... > Item Details
Sixth Plate Tintype of White Man Dressed in Indian Costume,
Lot # 1536 - Sixth Plate Tintype of White Man Dressed in Indian Costume,
anonymous full length portrait of middle-aged gentleman dressed in buckskin jacket, decorated with tinted drops and wearing a feathered headdress, holding a fake tomahawk aloft, mounted in a half case. > Item Details
Hand-Drawn Byrd Antarctic Expedition Map Signed By All The Members,
Lot # 1723 - Hand-Drawn Byrd Antarctic Expedition Map Signed By All The Members,
on vellum, entitled in legend in upper left of map A Chart Showing The Activities of the 2nd Byrd Antarctic Expedition 1933-1935, beautifully drawn in black and red ink and watercolor toning with the continent in center and surrounding islands with radiating meridian lines, text identifying major pl... > Item Details
Civil War CDVs of Beauregard & Polk,
Lot # 1181 - Civil War CDVs of Beauregard & Polk,
Bishop Polk in vestments and Beauregard as an old army engineer colonel, both early commercial views by Brady. The Episcopal Bishop of Louisiana and Lieutenant General was one of the few high ranking Confederate officers without a resume of pre-war military experience and owed his rank to his perso... > Item Details
Early Western Chaps with Texas Star Buckle,
Lot # 1048 - Early Western Chaps with Texas Star Buckle,
well used cow hide, 2-piece with belts natural finish with nickel-plated brass studs at margins and applied hide star on one and heart on the other, belt buckle is plated brass 5-pointed star in circle, 34" long. > Item Details
Patriotic & Political Pattern Glass Finger Lamps,
Lot # 1653 - Patriotic & Political Pattern Glass Finger Lamps,
lot of 2, includes an Atterbury amber Log Cabin patent flat hand lamp with period brass Taplin-Brown No. 1 collar with two patent dates stamped on the sides Pat'd Apr 13 1875 / Mar 21 1876. This lamp was manufactured using the process described in Atterbury's June 30, 1868 patent for a 4-part mold;... > Item Details
Four Civil War Photographs of the Union Army's Grand Review, 1865,
Lot # 1339 - Four Civil War Photographs of the Union Army's Grand Review, 1865,
each 3 x 2.75" mounted on printed card stock for John C. Taylor's The War for the Union Series with applied paper descriptive labels. These mimic Brady's "Album Gallery" images, and are one half of a stereoscopic negative. Printed post war, ca 1890, as direct positives from the original Anthony ne... > Item Details
<i>American Antiquities And Discoveries In The West...</i>
Lot # 1064 - American Antiquities And Discoveries In The West...
Albany, NY: Hoffman and White, 1835. Very early listing of evidence of early pre-Indian civilizations in America, 400 pp plus plate, folding map and folding frontispiece, 8vo, original 3/4 green calf with marbled covers and endpapers, full gilt label on spine with 5 raised hubs. Fold-out frontis pie... > Item Details
14K Gold DAR Medal from Rebecca Boone Descendant,
Lot # 72 - 14K Gold DAR Medal from Rebecca Boone Descendant,
marked 14K on clasp with enameled gold DAR symbol of ships wheel with Daughters of the American Revolution, engraved on back Aviza L. Black with markers mark J.E.C. & Co. suspended from a light blue and white silk pinback ribbon hanger with pinback ribbon bar engraved Mary Washington Chapter and cen... > Item Details
Civil War Archive with Letter to General Sherman Seeking Missing Soldier,
Lot # 1450 - Civil War Archive with Letter to General Sherman Seeking Missing Soldier,
Wood Family Collection, 1864-1926. 10 items, 6 photos, real photo postcard. An odd lot of Civil War-related items, including a war-date letter from a Mrs. L. W. Hoover of St. Louis to Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, inquiring about the fate of her cousin, Baker Woods, who the family fears may have di... > Item Details
Pair of Civil War Fifes,
Lot # 227 - Pair of Civil War Fifes,
one made of rosewood with original polished finish and German silver tips. Marked W.S. Crosby and pitched in the key of B. The other, probably also of rosewood, 14.5" long with brass tips and trace of slide-on tin mouthpiece, now missing. Pitched in the key of C. > Item Details
Unmounted Albumen of Brigadier General George H. Steuart, CSA,
Lot # 1135 - Unmounted Albumen of Brigadier General George H. Steuart, CSA,
after graduating West Point followed by typical frontier duty, "Maryland" Steuart joined the Confederate Army as a regular captain. He soon became Lt. Colonel of the orphan 1st Maryland Infantry and fought at 1st Manassas. He was promoted to Brigadier General in March 1862 and served in the Valley ... > Item Details
Two Spanish American War Artillery Shell Oil Lamps,
Lot # 1809 - Two Spanish American War Artillery Shell Oil Lamps,
both brass, copper with crossed cannon legs embossed sides, smaller marked Jacob Stahl Jr. & Co. Makers, 7.5" and 9" long. > Item Details
War of 1812 Saber,
Lot # 118 - War of 1812 Saber,
American, unmarked, with 33" blade with 3/4 fuller. Grip a single piece of wood, with blackened brass guard and fittings. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20