Veteran Items -

Grouping of First Sergeant John P Smith Honor Guard on Lincoln's Funeral Train
Item #: AA1532
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This is a grouping of First Sergeant John P. Smith, G Company, 119th Illinois Infantry Regiment. Smith enlisted as a Sergeant on 12 August, 1862 and was mustered into G Company on 7 October, 1862. First Sergeant Smith was transferred into I Company, 14th Regiment of the Veteran Reserve Corps. It was from the Reserve Corps that the Non Commissioned Officers assigned as escorts for President Lincoln's funeral train were selected. The grouping consists of Smith's blue wool First Sergeant's chevrons, his white cotton gloves, a CDV of Smith, a post card of the Lincoln funeral car used at the 42nd GAR Encampment, a small piece of bullion fringe from Lincoln's casket, two stencils of cotton fabric pertaining to Smith, a strip of black mourning bunting from the train car and a section of Civil War era US flag. The grouping comes in an attractive 24" x 18" x 3" oak display case. The case is lined with a reproduction US flag. The set of First Sergeant chevrons are Civil War era, and are in good condition. They are constructed of light blue wool stripes with a diamond sewn onto a dark blue wool backing. One of the chevrons has some moderate moth damage, but still displays well. The white muslin cotton gloves were worn by all military escorts on the train. The right glove shows some staining below the worsted fingers, right along the knuckle line. There is also a small hole in the right thumb. The CDV of Smith shows him in a nine button frock coat with First Sergeant stripes on each sleeve. The image has great clarity and contrast. The studio setting is that of J.C. Elrod, and the image is back marked "From J.C. Elrod's Gallery 409 Main St. Louisville". In pencil at the bottom left corner is written "#460". The bottom of the image has been trimmed off. The post card is that produced by the Lamson Brothers of Toledo, Ohio. The brothers father, Myron, had been an assistant foreman during construction of the train car when it was built to serve as a mobile office for President Lincoln and his cabinet. Lamson also supervised the remodeling of the car to serve as the funeral car. It was during this time that he had a photograph taken of the car when it was completed for the funeral procession. The brothers used the photo 43 years later to serve as a post card for the 42nd GAR Encampment held in Toledo, Ohio September 1-3, 1908. There are three soldiers in the photo. The one standing at the front of the car in front of the entrance has a strong resemblance to First Sergeant Smith's CDV. The piece of bullion fringe is approximately 1" in length and came from the morning cover placed over the casket. The strip of black bunting is approximately 3" wide and 23" long. The stenciled fabric pieces are made of cotton and have been tarred on the reverse side. This could possibly been taken from his haversack or other type of garment or personal bag. One piece has Co. G. 119th, ILL. stenciled on it, while the other reads JOHN P. SMITH. This is a one of a kind grouping of a Union soldier that was selected to serve as an Honor Guard on the funeral train that transported Abraham Lincoln's body from Washington D.C. to Springfield, Illinois.
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