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.

Provenance:  
Estate of Ira Grosvenor


Condition:  
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
Assorted Civil War Drawings by Julian Scott
Lot # 1474 - Assorted Civil War Drawings by Julian Scott
lot of 28, including the following either pencil or pencil and crayon sketches; landscape with harbor, sailing boat and buildings, 12" x 19"; PLUS forest landscape, 12" x 16"; PLUS landscape with stream and rocks, 11" x 15"; PLUS farmstead, 12" x 18"; PLUS Mediterranean church, 11" x 17"; PLUS lands... > Item Details
Japanese Sword Cane,
Lot # 647 - Japanese Sword Cane,
traditional-form fine steel single-edged 21.75" long blade with single Nakago-ana (mount hole through tang) with .5" nickel collar and bone grip/handle with lower half checkered. Sheath/shaft is tapered wood inlaid along its entire length with polished bone with 1.8" silver wire wrap at throat and .... > Item Details
Two C.R. Savage, Photographs,  Sentinel Rocks and The Tea Caddies,
Lot # 682 - Two C.R. Savage, Photographs, Sentinel Rocks and The Tea Caddies,
both 8 x 10" albumen prints on 11 x 15" cream cardstock with printed gilt mounting blocks. Both with C.R. Savage Photo and Salt Lake, although one print overlaps this attribution. Both with penciled manuscript titles along lower right margins of mount. > Item Details
Sixth Plate Tintype of Civil War Zouave w/ Cockade,
Lot # 1399 - Sixth Plate Tintype of Civil War Zouave w/ Cockade,
nicely tinted studio portrait of an enlisted soldier from an unknown Northern regiment seated with his red kepi on the table next to him. He wears a dark blue Zouave jacket with multiple buttons down the front and red trim on the cuffs. Beneath the jacket is a military shirt tinted light blue and ... > Item Details
ID'd <i>Wilder's Brigade</i> Spencer Rifle, Tintype & ID Disk,
Lot # 293 - ID'd Wilder's Brigade Spencer Rifle, Tintype & ID Disk,
56-56 caliber, serial number 5345 belonging to Private James K. Sanders Co. I, 123rd Illinois of Mattoon. According to the Springfield Research Service this Spencer rifle is in the serial range of the rifles carried by the 17th and 72nd Indiana, 92nd and 123rd Illinois having been issued sometime i... > Item Details
Two Civil War Cavalry Carbine Cartridges Boxes,
Lot # 147 - Two Civil War Cavalry Carbine Cartridges Boxes,
both Burnside types. One complete with wooden block for 20 cartridges though bottom buckle is cut off, as usual. Tab for flap is partially broken at finial hole. Complete with clear inspector's marks and maker's stamps. The other missing wooden block and horizontal strap for shoulder belt with b... > Item Details
Revolutionary War Era Rum Cask,
Lot # 71 - Revolutionary War Era Rum Cask,
turned hardwood with old refinishing, appears to be birch with bung hole in center, 6.8" long x 4.5" diameter. > Item Details
OSS Frisk Knife,
Lot # 638 - OSS Frisk Knife,
designed to be taped against the upper arm or lower leg for concealment when being frisked. Small thin double-edged blade with a reflective finish. > Item Details
Quarter Plate Tintype of  an Armed Mohawk,
Lot # 1378 - Quarter Plate Tintype of an Armed Mohawk,
cavalryman with the name "Colony." The soldier's kepi bears the company letter F with 86 in brass letters on the sweatband and has been published in an MI study of painted backdrops. We could not locate anyone named Colony serving in the 86th New York, or any 86th Regiment for that matter, and the... > Item Details
Boudoir Card of Riley, An Apache Scout and Family,
Lot # 870 - Boudoir Card of Riley, An Apache Scout and Family,
with imprint, E. M. Jennings, Photographs, Prescott, Arizona, & ms. id., Riley the scout and his wives and their house, verso; ca. 1880s > Item Details
299A: Personal Effects of General John T. Wilder,
Lot # 5001 - 299A: Personal Effects of General John T. Wilder,
includes a standard issue officer's sash, a pair of black leather high-topped boots, and a worn and faded private purchase faded blue hat and associated Civil War era officer's hat cord. Pinned to the crown of the hat is a small celluloid from the Wilder's Brigade reunion held in Greenup, Illinois i... > Item Details
Fine Group of Large Format Indian Treaty Delegation Photographs,
Lot # 696 - Fine Group of Large Format Indian Treaty Delegation Photographs,
5 albumen prints ca. 16? x 19? on ca 18? x 20? mounts, as follows: (1) C.M. Bell photo of Brule Sioux Black Crow, Iron Wing, Spotted Tail, Coarse Voice, White Thunder, 1880;(2) Bell photo of a Chippewa delegation, including Little Bull, Something Blown Up By The Wind & Little Shell, November, 1874; ... > Item Details
Snowshoe Folding Camp Chair by <i>W.F. Tubbs & Co.</i>,
Lot # 1047 - Snowshoe Folding Camp Chair by W.F. Tubbs & Co.,
bent hickory with original varnish finish and raw hide woven seat and back with oval stamped brass tag with W.F. Tubbs & Co./Snow Shu/Chair/Norway, ME, U.S.A./Patent Applied For 27. When folded the chair is 15.5" wide x 28" long x 5" thick; when unfolded it is 21" deep x 15" wide x 31.5" high with s... > Item Details
1840 Musket Identified to 15th/40th Illinois w/Bayonet,
Lot # 179 - 1840 Musket Identified to 15th/40th Illinois w/Bayonet,
69 caliber, 42" barrel, 57" overall. Cone-in-barrel conversion with brass pan intact. 1/4 side of nipple is broken off. Complete with sling swivels, bottom swivel is frozen in place. Original trumpet ramrod is missing bottom 2". Mechanically excellent. Strong markings on the lock plate: eagle wit... > Item Details
*  Ruger 357 <i>Blackhawk</i> Revolver,
Lot # 615 - * Ruger 357 Blackhawk Revolver,
357 caliber, serial number 1188598. 6.5" barrel. Complete with wood grips. > Item Details
Sixth Plate Cased Tintype of Buckskin Clad Dude with Winchester,
Lot # 952 - Sixth Plate Cased Tintype of Buckskin Clad Dude with Winchester,
anonymous image of a bearded young man in buckskin jacket, broad brimmed hat and high leather boots with pants tucked into top of boots and with Winchester type rifle cradled in arms, his faithful dog lies at his feet. Mounted in floral scrollwork embossed paper covered wooden case. > Item Details
Mathew Brady Advertising Bank Note and Business Cards,
Lot # 1524 - Mathew Brady Advertising Bank Note and Business Cards,
from the collection of James D. Horan, author of Mathew Brady: Historian with a Camera. Copy of his book also included. Includes two printed Brady business cards and a third of D.B. Woodbury and a bank note with Brady's New York Daguerrian Miniature Gallery 207 Broadway First Premium Awarded with ... > Item Details
Sixth Plate Tintype Relaxing Private,
Lot # 1390 - Sixth Plate Tintype Relaxing Private,
an anonymous long-haired private captured in a casual moment amidst the painted palm trees with his stubby cigar still lit, his elbow resting on a tattered American flag used by the photographer as a prop. The closest white stripe of the flag is visibly ripped with the threats separating from the ed... > Item Details
Sutler's Tokens From Ft. Laramie,
Lot # 489 - Sutler's Tokens From Ft. Laramie,
lot of 2, one stamped brass, 1.25" diameter with central inscription reading Good For/50c/In Suttlers/Goods with surrounding inscription S.E. Ward Sutter U.S.A. Ft. Laramie, D.T.; AND stamped copper, 1.2" diameter with the same inscription only 25c. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: