Two Daguerreotypes of Colonel Thomas Burpee, DOW Cold Harbor, Incl. Portrait in Mexican War-Era Uniform

Lot of 5, comprised of sixth plate daguerreotype of Colonel Thomas Burpee in civilian dress and quarter plate daguerreotype of Burpee in Mexican War-era uniform including eagle-pommel sword and plumed cap. Accompanied by three silver gelatin photographs, approx. 4.5 x 6.5 in., mounted to 7.5 x 10 in., ca early 20th century, showing Burpee's gravesite at Grove Hill Cemetery and a possible wartime residence in Norfolk, VA. Cemetery photographs bear handstamp of Frederick H. Holt: Rockville, CT, 1909, and domestic photograph credited on mount to Hilton: Norfolk, VA, 1912.

Thomas Francis Burpee (1830-1864), 21st Connecticut Infantry, was born in Stafford and later moved to Rockville, where he worked as a foreman at a woolen mill. He also served as captain of his militia company, with which he was active from 1849 until the outbreak of the Civil War. Burpee offered his company for service on May 1, 1861 but was asked only for his guns and munitions at the time. As the war continued on, however, the Union required additional manpower, and Burpee was commissioned captain of Co. D, 14th Connecticut Infantry in August 1862. He was quickly transferred to the 21st Connecticut Infantry, serving with this regiment for the duration of the war and attaining the colonelcy in the summer of 1864. On June 9, 1864 - the same day as his final promotion - Burpee was mortally wounded at the Battle of Cold Harbor, VA. Wartime records indicate that Burpee briefly worked at a jail in Norfolk in some capacity in 1863, concurrent with the date inscribed on the Hilton photograph, although exact details from this period are unconfirmed.

Provenance:Eugene R. Groves Collection of 19th Century Photography


Sixth plate portrait with tarnish, housed in half case. Quarter plate housed in full case separated at spine, with minor scratching and streaking to plate.

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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