Thursday, April 19, 2018

The Great Central Fair, 1864-- Part 2: A Little Bit of Everything Inside

Union Street was compared to a great cathedral by Charles J. Stille.  Inside it were departments from which to select items to buy.  They each had different themes.  Some of them:  the  neighboring states of New Jersey and Delaware, corn, sewing, restaurants, weaponry, fine art, curiosities, transportation and children.

On June 16, Abraham Lincoln and his family visited and donated 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation that he had signed.  They fair was asking $10 for each one.

The fair netted some $1 million for the Union's military.

A painting of the fair accompanied the article and it was quite impressive.

--Old secesh

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Great Central Fair of Philadelphia, 1864-- Part 1: A huge Fundraiser for U.S. Sanitary Commission

From  Wikipedia.

The fair took place in June 1864 and was a fundraiser for the United States Sanitary Commission.

Logan Square (now often called Logan Circle) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, was the site from June 7-28.  It was inspired by numerous other fundraising fairs that took place across the Union.

The main exhibit was located in a 200,000 square foot hall.  There were numerous smaller structures also.  The whole thing was designed by Samuel Honeyman Kneass and William Strickland.    There was also a Union Street that stretched for 540 feet and ran through the middle of the fair.

--Old SeceshFair

Another Pair of Gen. Meade's Spurs

From the James D. Julia Auction site.

Steel spurs belonging to Gen. George Gordon Meade.    Leather strap and fine coddeburr spurs.

Nicely framed, matted and silhouetted in contemporary gold frame.

Spurs and other items, supposedly from the Meade family estate.

Lot #420   Price $4,427

A Bit More Reasonable.  Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

About Gen. Meade's Spurs-- Part 5: J.E.B. Stuart's Spurs

The set of presentation spurs are accompanied by a large 20 X 16, war time albumen print of Meade and his staff.

The only other high grade collectible spurs known of the Civil War known are gold plated ones identified with J.E.B. Stuart which sold at auction in December 2006 for $119,500.00.

The silver on Meade's spurs have oxidized to brilliant hues of blue, powder blue and gray and retain much of the original polish.  The leather straps show age and fragility.

--Old Secesh

About Gen. Meade's Spurs-- Part 4: From the Estate of George Gordon Meade Easby

The spurs going up at auction belonged to George Gordon Meade Easby, the general's grandson.  He was a major art and antique collector, who inherited more than 100,000 antiques and personal items which had been in his family for centuries.

These items included items of the Meades as well as utensils used by the Founding Fathers during the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Many of those items have been on loan at times to the White House.

--Old Secesh

Monday, April 16, 2018

About Gen. Meade's Spurs-- Part 3: Spurs and a Pistol

The Great Central Fair raised $1 million for the United States Sanitary Commission.

Many of General Meade's personal items have been donated or sold by family members in the 1990s, including the sword, uniforms, a cased and engraved Remington New-Model Revolver (now at the Autry Museum) and other artifacts.

I'll be writing about the pistol later this week as well.  The auction story has definitely branched out.

The spurs were in the estate of the late George Gordon Meade Easby (Meade's grandson) until a few years ago.

--Old SecSpur

About Gen. Meade's Spurs-- Part 2: The Great Central Fair and Abraham Lincoln

General George Meade and his wife were members of the Great Central Fair.  At the end of it, he was presented with a sword which is now at the Philadelphia History Museum.  The Great Central Fair was probably the greatest purely civic act of voluntary benevolence ever attempted in Philadelphia.

On June 16, President Lincoln and his son Todd attended the fair and he donated 48 copies of the Emancipation Proclamation which sold for $10 apiece.  What would an autographed copy of this signed by Lincoln himself be worth today?  Or imagine if instead he had autographed copies of his Gettysburg Address?

I will write more about these copies of the Emancipation Proclamation later this week.

--Old SeceshFair

Friday, April 13, 2018

About General Meade's Spurs-- Part 1: Presented By the Great Central Fair to the General

From the Rock island Auction Site.

Lot 1123--  Officer eagle Head Spurs Inscribed to Major General George Meade.

This has never been offered to the public before.  It is one of two known sets of solid silver head spurs known.

The inscription reads:

"Major General  George G. Meade /  FROM THE / Great Central Fair / Philadelphia 1864."

General Meade had the nickname "Old Snapping Turtle."

This was presented to him on June 4, 1864.  The Central Fair took place June 7 to June 28, 1864 and was a fundraiser for the U.S. Sanitary Commission.

--Old Secesh

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Confederate General Paul J. Semmes' Sword at Auction This Weekend

From the Rock island Auction Company ad in the April 8, 2019, Chicago Tribune.

"The most historic Confederate weapon we have ever had the pleasure to catalog."  Norman Flayderman, Catalog #109.

Lot 1108\\Incredibly important, Fresh and Well-Documented Ames inscribed officer's presentation sword and scabbard.

Presented to Confederate General Paul J. Semmes, mortally wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg.  A picture of the general accompanies the ad.

Pre-Auction estimate:  $100,000-300,000.

Sure, I've Got That Much Just Lying Around the House.  --Old SeceshCheap

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

General Meade's Spurs At Auction

Rock Island Auction Company Auction April 13-15, 2018.  In the April 8, 2018, Chicago Tribune.

Among the items up for auction is a pair of Major General George Gordon Meade's spurs.

Lot 1123

"Extremely Rare, Historic, Fully Documented and Excellent Condition Presentation Officer's Spurs of Major General George Gordon Meade.

Pre-Auction Estimate $25,000-50,000.

Well, I Don't Know What the Wife Would Say.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

North Grove School in Sycamore and Fairview Cemetery in DeKalb


Built in 1878 by Swedish immigrants for $230.  They will be having a School Days Open House in June 2018, which  we hope to attend.

This is where the children of Henry and Judy Beard attended school.


1600 S. First Street

This is where Henry and Judy Beard are buried.

Other notables in DeKalb history buried there are Jacob and Sarah Haisch, Ben Gordon, Joseph Glidden (invented barb wire), Annie Glidden and there is a mausoleum for the Elwood family.  10,000 buried there, including a Civil War veteran and the very first Boy Scout in America who died at age 12.

--Old Secesh

Civil War Trust April 2018 Calendar: Perryville, Kentucky

PERRYVILLE KY.  1,027 acres saved.

Picture of a field with a hill in the background.

Over  the pat two decades, the Trust has protected some 1,027 acres of hallowed ground at Perryville, site of the decisive October 8, 1862, battle that ensured Union control of Kentucky for the remainder of the war.

Our efforts have helped to save more than half the acreage included in Perryfield Battlefield State Historic Site, Kentucky's largest battlefield.

--Old Secesh

Monday, April 9, 2018

MCCWRT Meeting Tuesday April 10:

This Tuesday, April 10, the McHenry County Civil War Round Table will meet at the Woodstock, Illinois, Public Library at 414 W. Judd Street from 7 to 9 p.m..

Robert Girardi will talk about "The Organization of the Rank and File: Soldiers and Their Officers."

--Old Secesh

About Those Gold Bars in Pennsylvania

Last month, March 28, I wrote about people looking for buried gold bars in Pennsylvania while the FBI keeps an eye on them.  Some more information:

It is thought to be between 26 to 52 gold bars, worth between $27 million and $55 million today.

They are believed to be buried at Dents Run, about 135 miles northeast of Pittsburgh.  They were en route from Wheeling, West Virginia to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia.  It was lost around the time of the Battle of Gettysburg.

But, historians are skeptical of the story.  Most believe it to be just a 155-year-old legend.

--Old SecGold

Friday, April 6, 2018

135th USCT's Re-enactment in Goldsboro This Weekend-- Part 5

Since their regiment number was so high, they were probably one of the last USCT regiments mustered in.  Plus, since it had members from Georgia and South Carolina, I imagine many of those men had been following Sherman's army.

After Confederate General Johnston surrendered to Sherman at Bennett Place in Durham in late April, the 135th was one of the few black regiments to take part in the march in review along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. in front of the U.S. president.  (I had always thought that no USCT regiments were allowed to be in that march.)

After the war, the 135th was used to guard bridges and hospitals in Kentucky.

A partial list of the members of the 135th has been compiled.

--Old Secesh