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Double Armed Confederate Ambrotype with Large Bowie and Beals Pocket Revolver - Company E 28th North Carolina

Double Armed Confederate Ambrotype with Large Bowie and Beals Pocket Revolver - Company E 28th North Carolina

  • Product Code: IP-1038-SOLD
  • Availability: Out Of Stock
  • $4,500.00

This is wonderful early war Confederate sixth plate ambrotype of a young Confederate soldier armed with a large D-Guard Bowie knife and a gun rarely seen in period images, a Remington Beals Pocket Revolver. The young man is most likely from North Carolina wears what appears to be a gray militia jacket with a seven button front and black wool tape trim that runs vertically along the front edge of the coat, down the length of the buttonholes and which has horizontal lines extending towards the arms at each button and buttonhole. The tall collar of the jacket has black tape trim as well and a wide tape stripe also runs down the leg of his trousers, which seem to be a lighter color of gray. The man wears a cravat at his throat and is without a hat. He has a small signet ring on the pinkie of his right hand. The image is so clear that the percussion caps and loaded chambers of the Remington Beals Pocket Revolver are clearly visible. The clarity even allows the bevel of the false edge of the bowie knife to be clearly visible. The background includes a Jaccard blanket on the table next to him and he is resting his right left elbow on a copy of Wheeler’s History of North Carolina, which is certainly placed in the image intentionally. The presence of the book certainly suggests that this is a North Carolina image. 

Updated Information! My thanks to Fred Taylor who contacted me about this image after it was posted and provided the following information. A handful of images are known with the copy of Wheeler's History of North Carolina in the image. This book typically appears in images struck at one of the camps of instruction in the High Point, NC area and are dated to circa September 1861. However, Mr. Taylor was most excited about the uniform, as according to him the only North Carolina troops that are seen with this type of early war uniform at the Montgomery Grays, who were Company E of the 28th North Carolina Infantry. He notes that the uniforms were all "homemade" so there are some minor inconsistencies but the telltale indicator are the horizontal black tape stripes that cross through each button and buttonhole. He showed me two identified images of Co E 28th NC soldiers which were both wearing the same type of coat. One was armed with a large, S-guard Bowie knife and the other had some sort of short sword in his belt. This confirms in my mind that the image here is another member of the of the Montgomery Grays. 

The 28th NC was organized at Fort Fisher near High Point, NC in September 1861 and fought through the entire war, with the remnants of the regiment surrendering at Appomattox. Company E, the "Montgomery Grays" was raised in Montgomery County, NC in North Carolina's Piedmont Region. The regiment numbered approximately 900 men when mustered in and surrendered 213 men and 17 officers at Appomattox. During the course of the war some 1,826 men served in the regiment with many being replacements to fill out the regiment after losses due to disease and on the battlefield. During their service the regiment fought in some forty engagements, from their first in New Bern, NC on March 14, 1862 to their last in Farmville, VA on April 6-7, 1865. Some of the major engagements that the regiment fought in were The Seven Days, 2nd Manassas, Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristoe Campaign, Mine Run Campaign, Wilderness Campaign, Spotysylvania, Cold Harbor, the Siege of Petersburg and the Appomattox Campaign, with many more engagements not listed. At Antietam, was part of Branch's Brigade in A.P. Hill's Light Division and the regiment and "double quicked" from Harpers Ferry to Sharpsburg to arrive on the battlefield on the afternoon of September April 17 to help prevent what could have been a catastrophic loss for Lee. At Gettysburg the regiment was still under AP Hill, but this time in his Corps, serving in Dorsey Pender's Division and Lane's Brigade. The regiment was heavily engaged on July 1 in the fighting to push the Union back to Seminary Ridge, was in the thick of Longstreet's assault on July 2 (where Pender was mortally wounded) and participated in the ill fated "Picket's Charge" on July 3rd, with Isaac Trimble serving as the new division commander.


The image is about VERY GOOD+ condition. It is extremely clear but does show some light scuffing, minor surface scratching and some finish and minor image loss. The large areas of loss around spots to the side of the man’s face and near his shoulder, which thankfully do not materially affect the content of the image. A number of photographs of the image were taken in attempt to accurately represent its appearance “in person”. A high-resolution scan of the image was taken with the image removed from the frame, matte and boarder, allowing the portions of the image that are covered by the matte to be visible. This image has only been very slightly processed, in an attempt to make the scan look as much like the image does when it is in your hand. The closeups that are shown are crops from this high-resolution scan. The last two “pictures” of the image that are shown have been manipulated to make them lighter and to allow the details of the image to be more readily apparent. These are not accurate depictions of the brightness of the image and are only provided to show detail. The last of these shows the image “reversed” so that real appearance and right to left orientation of the negative image are restored. The sixth plate image is housed in a leatherette covered wooden case with a burnt orange embossed pillow opposite the image a dark red boarder around the image. The image has a gold foil matte, surround and glass protective cover. The case’s hinge has been carefully repaired and the exterior shows moderate scuffing, wear, and surface finish loss. The interior pillow shows fading and dulling.


Overall, this is a great early war image of a man with a massive Bowie knife and fully loaded Remington Beals pocket revolver, which will be an impressive addition to your collection of armed Confederate images.


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Tags: Double, Armed, Confederate, Ambrotype, with, Large, Bowie, and, Beals, Pocket, Revolver