Autographed CDV of Civil War Civilian Soldier John L. Burns

Autographed CDV featuring a full standing portrait of an aged John L. Burns (1793-1872) wearing civilian clothing and balancing his standing flintlock musket in the crook of his arm, with painted backdrop visibly hanging on the wall behind him. Credited to P.S. Weaver, Hanover, PA, and signed, "John L Burns / Gettysburg / 71" on verso. 

Burns, a veteran of the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War, was eager to support the Union during the Civil War despite his advanced age. As a resident of Gettysburg, he marched toward the field of battle on July 1, 1863, armed and ready to join the fight. After approaching Major Thomas Chamberlain and reporting to Colonel Langhorne Wister, Burns was sent to the McPherson Woods to fight with the 7th Wisconsin Infantry (and later the 24th Michigan Infantry). Burns served as a sharpshooter and was wounded at least three times during the battle, after which he was left by Union forces and found by Confederate forces. In a moment of quick wit and cleverness, Burns, having buried his ammunition, convinced the Confederates that he was a simple civilian attempting to get medical help for his sick wife.

Narrowly escaping death, Burns became a national hero and a symbol for Union bravery. President Lincoln even requested to meet Burns, and the two spent time together following Lincoln's Gettysburg Address on November 19, 1863. His legacy of heroism lived on in many ways after his death in 1872, including in the form of a monument placed on McPherson's Ridge and dedicated on July 1, 1903, on the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg.


CDV with surface soil and wear to edges/corners.

Estimate: $300 - $500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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