Ca. 1884. Fifteen jewel size sixteen Elgin movement number 1398028. Pendant wind and lever set. White porcelain dial with black painted Roman numerals and counter sunk sub-seconds dial. Blued Breguet hands. 103.28 dwt.
Presentation inscription on verso around crossed cannons: Presented to Col. W.R. Smedberg by the Second Artillery Regiment N.G.C. December 21st 1885. Entwined W.R.S. on front of case.
William Renwick Smedberg (1839-1911) was born in New York. He was an 1857 graduate of Columbia College. When the Civil War erupted, he was living in Washington, DC and enlisted immediately (April 15) as a Corporal in that city. He was mustered into the DC 3rd Battalion Infantry as a corporal, and one month later commissioned into the US 14th Infantry as a 1st Lieut. He was severely wounded in May 1864 in the Battle of the Wilderness, requiring the amputation of his right leg. From 1862 until the end of the war, the 14th Infy. was part of the Army of the Potomac, so he would have been involved in most of the bloody battles of the Eastern Theater. The 14th was certainly at the second Battle of Bull Run, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, and Antietam, among many others. Smedberg continued in service after the war until retiring in December 1870.
He was promoted to Captain in late October 1861, and received brevets for Major in 1863 and Lt. Colonel in 1864. After retirement he seems to have moved to California. He was a member of GAR Posts No. 1 (Lincoln) and 2 (George Thomas) in San Francisco, and apparently, from this presentation, of the California National Guard. He was in San Francisco according to the various censuses and voter registration roles from at least 1869 until his death. He died in 1911 in San Rafael, Marin, California.
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