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Civil War Letter, Brothers Captured Battle Of Athens Escaped, Large Portrait For Sale

Civil War Letter, Brothers Captured Battle Of Athens Escaped, Large Portrait

Final starting price adjustment. One day sale. If you win the sale please pay as soon as possible. Free shipping. That is the best offer I will give before this package taken down. I can't afford to pay to list it over and over again.
Civil War Soldier Watercolor Portrait and Letter (Two Brothers-2 in 1 Letter) Photograph***Two bonus letters from a different soldier to spice up the package. Just added these to the package today.
***Update 06-17-2014 I found a few other letters that I picked with this painting. None of them seemed to go with the discovered letter behind the painting until I noticed that one letter in 1861 from a Mother to her son William (also in Civil War) talked about finishing a letter to her sons Alvin and Charley. Alvin and Charles are the two brothers of the letter I found behind the painting (Changed their names to Grant). It seems that their true last name is Greathry or Greathsay or Greathsax? The letter from the Mother is on a Political letter head of Abe Lincoln in Jan of 1861 right after he was elected in 1860 (not yet in office). The envelope doesn't seem to go with the Mother's letter to William, but was from her to her daughter and had a nice engraving. She mentions their first names on the first page. I won't be transcribing the Mother/Father letter for a day as I have a flooded basement to deal with, but will add it to this sale. It is just a simple letter talking about potential jobs for the brothers. It does say that the brothers were working in a mill in Grundy, Newton county which is in Missouri, but there is a Grundy in Iowa and a Newton in Iowa so I am not sure which state they were in. I am not sure of the mill she mentions. Will get the second letter transcribed soon once I get this water issue solved today. I can send high resolution images if you want to simple read it. This update won't make much sense for people that have not read the original ad so please keep reading to understand. Thanks! I am simply excited to find out their real names.Make sure to request more pictures to see condition of painting before submitting an off. Thank!***Talks about the Battle of Athens, the only battle fought in Iowa (considered Missouri, but northern most fought battle-I attached a map in the images) won by the Union after the Missouri State Guard seceded from the Union and attacked the Missouri Guard. The brothers were captured by and spent 8 weeks with a small group ofdefectorsfrom the Missouri Guard that abandoned the battle with the retreating Missouri State Guard.Soldiers: After heading home they were captured by Rebels and changed their names to Grant so their actual names are unknown. One brother calls himself Alvin C. Grant and the other one is Charles Grant. The portrait is of Alvin C. Grant. This explains why only one portrait since the other brother died from wounds in 1862. I just examined the picture of the two and on the back is has some name of a woman and on the bottom says Damon. I believe that might be their real name, but the picture is pretty beat up. The living brother most likely carried it with him after his brother passed away. This is such a weird story, but just fantastic that it is not lost. I pride myself in discovering lost history and this has to be one of my finest discoveries. :-)Northeast Missouri Calvary ( 7th Regiment Cavalry Volunteers Company F)Alvin C. Grant - Private, Company F, 23 years old, Enlisted October 14, 1861, Warshaw ILL, Mustered December 31st, 1861, Discharged Jan. 16 1863 for disease (Also in Company G) (Will send printed enlistment records)Charles Grant- Private, Company F, 24 years old, Enlisted October 14, 1861, Warshaw ILL, Mustered 31st 1861, Died Sept 1862 at Jeff City of wounds received at the battle of Lone Jack August 16, 1862 (Buried at Jefferson City NationalCemetery) (also Company G)
I picked (basically saved it from getting lost) this painting this Spring. I always take apart anything that seems to have elements that could damage itself. I started by taking the rusted old wire off, then the backing linen when I noticed behind the linen backing a letter and pretty beat up cabinet card photograph of two men. I continued to dismantle the frame from the actual wooden stretcher to examine the materials, fasteners and over-all age of the piece. After my examination of the artwork and dating all of the materials I read the letter. At first I couldn't make sense of it. I then photographed the letter so that I could enlarge it. After reading it a couple of times it all made sense. The two men were the two in the letter and this portrait was of one of them. Based on the content in the letter describing them growing out beards and not having them prior this portrait must have been done during the war, end of war or shortly after the war.
Painting Details:
Medium: Watercolor on paper attached on light linen fastened with hand forged nails onto a wooden stretcher fastened onto a frame, back was covered with the same light linen and heavy wire for hanging.Subject Matter: Portrait of MaleTime Period: Based on materials, style, age of materials and clothing of individual 1850's to 1880's. I try not to use the letter to date this portrait, but the clues of the over-all piece and my experience in Art History, but like I stated it was probably done during the war, recently after the war or a few years later. Based on how young he still looks compared the photograph of the two brothers and that he has facial hair it was right around the time period that I dated it. In the letter they state that they both never wore beards until joining the Northeast Missouri so that fact that he has a mustache points to post war plus his string tie was popular in the 1870's.Style: Realism (Popular for artist trying to mimic and compete with the invention of Photography and Photographers started to mimic painters during this time period such as Julia Margaret Cameron)Fasteners: The actual artwork is fastened with hand cut nails of the period. Great holding strength verses the contemporary wire nails of today. The stretcher is held to the frame with period wire cut nails properly inserted at an angle showing that this frame belongs to this piece. (I have many sites and examples of the history of fasteners and nails that I use to determine age. I always examine the details before I ever examine the actual art)Materials: Wooden Stretcher (shows proper age and usage), light linen (not tradition canvas to hold oil paint, but a lighter/looser linen to easily attached paper), paper (very aged and delicate), Wooden frame, two types of nails, watercolor paintSize of Portrait: 16" by 20" by 1"Size of Frame: 29 1/4" by 25 1/4" by 1 1/2"***In order to safely ship this piece I will use a two box system. I will place the smaller box inside of the larger box to prevent any damage. I am actually going to ask advice from one of the Galleries that I use to work with to see the best way to ship this piece. If anything I will ship the art in one box and the frame in another if I have too. All wires will be removed. All original materials will come with it, but you will have to attach them yourself. I will send a new heavy wire for hanging since the old one is really rusted and might damage the piece. The inner wood only takes 4 nails and you just need to put pressure on them (no hammering),
Letter Details:
Date of Letter: October 26th, 1861Letter mentions Battle of Athens, changing names, being captured, enlisting in the Union and the Rebels, Stealing possessions,Location: Camp Sullivan, Warshaw IllinoisSoldiers: Alias name of Grant (Alvin C. Grant and Charles Grant) I didn't see their real last name in this letter, but found Alvin C. Grant listed in this regiment. It is too bad that they didn't mention it in the letter or that the envelope would have been present. Great content in the letter.Regiment: North East Missouri Calvary (Captain Miller must be their commander) I will send a print out of the history of this regiment.
***Reading this letter I can imagine being on my way home and having to deal with these scary situations. In 2001 I worked on the East Coast for a door to door sales company and my boss was not a trustworthy guy. He yelled at me one day really bad for not making his quota so I told him I wanted to go home. He made me get out of the van in a place that I didn't know with no money none of my possessions (at our hotel 3 hours away) with no phone or food. He didn't come back to get me for 10 hours. I sat outside of the place he left me pondering how I would get back to Iowa. So I finally got back to the hotel and got my stuff grabbed my bus ticket and headed home, but didn't look at the bus ticket to see if was only half way there. I lucked out and had the company number and got my ticket home, but having nothing being so far from home is a really scary ordeal. I wouldn't want that to happen during the Civil War like these soldiers. They had to evade the enemy, but there was only so far they could go with no money or food or friends to help them. Basically they were forced into service by the Rebels which fueled their hate for them. I can relate to this. Once I got home I had a focus in life that I never had before. My young and dumb youth was literally over. Very good content for a Civil War letter.Letter Transcription: Some words were hard to read so I put ______ and the grammar and spelling are iffy so some words might be spelled wrong, but it is still readable. I have attached pictures of the letter written by both brothers.
Camp Suliven Oct the 26 1861

Dear Cousin

Thinking perhaps you would like to hear from us and know that we are about and what we have been a doing we have taken this chance to write some things about it but it would be a long letter if we should write it all and we started from Grundy (Granby?) about the first of June going through Kansas Nebrasshy (Nebraska) Lora (Iowa?) and intending to come home but while in Debuque we herd the __________ of the Union and rebels troops in Clark Co Mo and took the beat and went to Keokuk and from there to Athens where we knew that there would be a fight before long but we arrived to late by a day then feeling a little _______ in ______ feeling ful of fight we went with the home gaurds ______ more and a was taken prisoner by the D=ish rebels and all we had taken from us which was two hundred dollars in cash and two of there own horses that was taken from them at Athens fight we was with them for 8 weeks before we got away and then being out of money and close friends we enlisted in the Northeast Mo Regiment of Calvary encamped at warshaw hancock co Ill on here we beDear Brother

I take the present opportunity of writing a few lines to you. I am well and the present and have been all summer after we went to Missouri after the battle of Athens we went with the Home Guards for some time and then ________ got hold of us and had us for some time and when we got away from them of which we came here and joined the Cavalry Co as we could do nothing better for they had striped us of all things we had except our clothes and we had nothing to come home with we would liked to have done before we joined if we could but we could not while we were in the Northeast Mo we went by the name of Grant and claimed to be _______ and that is the way that we got away from them and as there was a good many in the regiment that knew us by that name while in the Mo and some of them joined when we did and so we joined by that name and have not had it changed and do not know whether we go by the name of Grant the cause of our first changing our name was that among the ______ are several that we had seen before and that would have known us by our right name that is they was not enough acquainted with us to recognize us by sight as we both ware beard and they had never seen us with one before and had they of known us they would doubted it for some time as and watched us rather close but we gave them the slip after a while and here we are _______ and willing to fight them to the last we have been in campI see that Alvin has written all that is necessary for you to know and I like it well here in camp and think I shall like it better when we are on the move we have not got our horses yet but are expecting them all the while Alvin told you about the trade of our names and the reasons but it so please direct your letter Charley and A Grant Warsaw Hancock Co Ill Camp Sulivan care of Captain Miller if you have got five or six dollars to spare until we make money we would like it very much if you would bring it would pay you back same time

Come and see us if you possibly can

Yours truly

Nearly two weeks and would like to come home before we leave here if I could but I have nothing to come with we have not got but one dime between us and will not draw our pay for some weeks yet as there US Army Surgeon got to examine us yet we have all been examined once by a doctor we expect a surgeon here next Monday and then they will send on their papers to Washington and this has all to be done before they can pay us I do not know how long it will be before we leave here but I expect some time yet if I could draw my pay so as to have the money I presume I could get a furlough so as to come home a few days but there is not hardly one in camp that has got money enough to buy his tobacco not even officers our regiment is called the NorthEast Missouri Cavalry Regiment as I do not think of anything more to write at present I will draw this letter to a close give my love to Father Mother and all the children and write to us and tell us what you are all doing and how you get along and I would be glad to see some of you down here if you come write immediately and ______ all the news.

Yours truly and forever

Alvin C Grant

Direct your letters to Avlin C Grant Camp Sulivan Warsaw Ill Care of Capt Miller

Shipping: USPS Standard with tracking in US only. No International. Too much risk in damage to ship overseas. Shipping covers material packaging (will cost a little to get proper stuff), tracking and insurance. I have to find some special protective stuff for the paper. I think I have something in mind. I also have a friend that ships some medical stuff that might have some good packaging.

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I will be posting many other Civil War letters this month. I have a Battle of Shiloh from a huge lot (named soldier with entire history, family tree, photos, ect) and some individual letters of good battles. I do have all items photographed if you would like to see what I have, but yet to finish transcriptions and research on most. The Battle of Shiloh letter and ad is ready, but I am pondering if I want to sell it by itself or with some other items of his. I also have a rare rare rare W. Carrington Co. Coin Silver Cup used by a soldier. This cup is so rare just based on the maker (friend of Tiffany from Tiffany Co.) and this one was used by a soldier (a regular plain one marked is over $2,000), I also have some US forks, and some other stuff. Thanks!

Civil War Letter, Brothers Captured Battle Of Athens Escaped, Large Portrait

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