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
Civil War Ames M1860 Cavalry Saber & Scabbard,
Lot # 266 - Civil War Ames M1860 Cavalry Saber & Scabbard,
a common sword with a desirable early date. Solid 3-branch guard with absolutely mint leather grip still tightly wrapped with its original wire. The 34.5" single-edged blade had clear Ames markings and scroll at ricasso with U.S./J.H./1862. The blade bears old nickel plating with just the slightest ... > Item Details
D.F. Barry Cabinet Card of E.S. Godfrey,
Lot # 746 - D.F. Barry Cabinet Card of E.S. Godfrey,
who commanded Company K during the hilltop fight at the Little Big Horn. Godfrey was one of the few officer's who acquitted himself favorably during the battle. Awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at Bear Paw Mountain, MT where he was seriously wounded. Image and mount measure 6.5" x 4.25." ... > Item Details
Rare Photograph of Apache Scouts and General Crook,
Lot # 860 - Rare Photograph of Apache Scouts and General Crook,
8 ½” x 6 ½” albumen print on 10” x 8” mount with hand-printed caption identifying individuals incl. Alchesay and Mickey Free, a half-blood Apache, whose scouting skills were particularly effective in General Crook's 1883 expedition for Geronimo in the Sierra Madre. Further ids. verso. Taken at Ft.... > Item Details
Sixth Plate Tintype of Pvt. Daniel M. Thompson, 48th Ind., KIA Champion Hills,
Lot # 303 - Sixth Plate Tintype of Pvt. Daniel M. Thompson, 48th Ind., KIA Champion Hills,
Mississippi, with ink inscription behind image that reads, Daniel M. Thompson/Died May 16-1863/Champion Hills, Miss./48 Ind. Inf. together with a bound lock of Daniel’s hair. A wonderful image of a freckled-face youngster wearing a state jacket and holding what appears to be a M1816 bolster convers... > Item Details
Two Keystone Boxed Primary Sets of Stereoviews: Butterflies & Insects
Model 1884 Cadet Rifle,
Lot # 415 - Model 1884 Cadet Rifle,
45-70 caliber, serial number 494827. Stock with very sharp and crisp script SWP dated 1890 cartouche. Behind trigger bow is firing proof scripted encircled P. > Item Details
Confederate Cannon Fuses,
Lot # 201 - Confederate Cannon Fuses,
full box of cannon fuses made by the Richmond Arsenal. The box is marked 3 Second Fuses Richmond Arsenal and dated 1862. > Item Details
Autographed Frederick West Lander Salted Paper Photograph,,
Lot # 671 - Autographed Frederick West Lander Salted Paper Photograph,,
ca 1857-58, 6.3" x 8.4" mounted on larger 10.5 x 13.2" cream cardstock. Probably taken by James McLees or Julian Vannerson in Washington as part of a series of images of prominent Americans. Lander stands in a prairie type setting in frontier dress, consisting of buckskin jacket with fur cuffs and ... > Item Details
1873 Trial Bayonet,
Lot # 446 - 1873 Trial Bayonet,
bayonet is bright with some storage rust on blade and blue on socket. Blade length 10" overall length 14.5". > Item Details
Scarce Cabinet Card of Adam Bogardus and Sons,
Lot # 1077 - Scarce Cabinet Card of Adam Bogardus and Sons,
with printed caption along bottom margin Capt. A.H. Bogardus & Sons Champion Shots of the World, group portrait of father and three sons, each with medals and rifles and shotguns. Captain A.H. Bogardus was another Cody rival and former market hunter who pioneered the sport of trap shooting and inve... > Item Details
CDV of Stephen Douglas,
Lot # 1634 - CDV of Stephen Douglas,
A lovely, red-ruled CDV of a standing Stephen Douglas by Anthony/Brady. Exceptionally rich contrast and detail in this photograph of the "Little Giant." > Item Details
Small Indian Powder Horn with Geometric Decoration,
Lot # 66 - Small Indian Powder Horn with Geometric Decoration,
with entire body of horn covered with boldly engraved geometric designs with step carved spout and slightly domed spruce/fir plug end, attached with wrought iron brads, fine old patina, 9" long. > Item Details
Two Civil War CDVs of General T.H. Neill, Autographed,
Lot # 1202 - Two Civil War CDVs of General T.H. Neill, Autographed,
one vingette view as Colonel having period pencil salutation by "J. Cremmer, Philadelphia," another as Brigadier General with imprint of Wenderoth & Taylor, Philadelphia and Fond Remembrances (official)/By order of/Brig. Gen. Neill/H. Binney A.D.C. penciled on verso. An ex-regular, Thomas Neill serv... > Item Details
Printed GAR Banner,
Lot # 324 - Printed GAR Banner,
glazed cotton, 21 x 45" with multi-color printing of the GAR logo, printed by Charles Naylor, Philadelphia. On its original pine 48" stick. > Item Details
Lot of Three Identified Illinois Cased Images,
Lot # 1398 - Lot of Three Identified Illinois Cased Images,
one sixth plate and two ninth plates, all tintypes. The sixth plate is a late war photograph of Sgt. William B. Cassell, Co. B, 139th Illinois Infantry, a 100-day regiment, in unusual double matt. The image is identified twice, scratched into the back of the plate, and also by a marvelous pencil i... > Item Details
Quarter Plate Tintype of Outdoor Mounted Artillery Officer,
Lot # 1383 - Quarter Plate Tintype of Outdoor Mounted Artillery Officer,
a tinted plate of an unidentified mounted officer posed in front of a peeling clapboard building. The shoulder straps are gilded but he appears to be a 2nd lieutenant wearing a red tinted sash with the trouser stripes and martingale breast strap also tinted bright red. We take this to be an indica... > Item Details
* Winchester Model 12 Shotgun,
Lot # 658 - * Winchester Model 12 Shotgun,
16 gauge, serial number 920499. Blued barrel and receiver with walnut stock and forearm. > Item Details
C.R. Savage Image of Great Shoshone Falls on the Snake River,
Lot # 683 - C.R. Savage Image of Great Shoshone Falls on the Snake River,
albumen on original printed card stock with penciled title along lower margin Great Twin Falls-Snake River, Idaho, with imprint on card stock C.R. Savage Photo, 7.8" x 9.7" with stock 10.75" x 13.8". > Item Details
Grabill Photograph of Gold Stamping Mill,
Lot # 946 - Grabill Photograph of Gold Stamping Mill,
great image of a 5 story framed mill building with workers at side and hanging out of windows and doors, titled in negative bottom center 2348 Lookout Gold stamp mill/Photo copyright by Grabill, 1889, image is 7.5" x 9.65" on original card stock, 11" x 13.5". > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20
SKIP TO PAGE: