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Civil War - GAR Museum Deacquisition 8th NY Cavalry

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This is an interesting lot I just acquired from a local museum deacquisition. Lot was donated by a great grand daughter in 1965 and consists of what appears to be a modified frock coat?, GAR member medal, 8th NY Cav ribbon, part of a NY day at Gettysburg ribbon, a New York Gettysburg reunion ribbon and a nice New York Gettysburg reunion medal. The reunion medal is nicely engraved around the rim with his name, rank, and unit. The two white tags sewn to the coat are museum numbers. Unfortunately several buttons are missing, 6 on front and one at each cuff. The coat also has an interesting "red" lining that is padded in the front. Brief research shows that this soldier probably saw a fair amount of action. He was also captured and spent some time at Andersonville. I will let the photos tell the rest.

 

MOODY, OHARLES H.—Age, 18 years. Enlisted, August 23, 1862, at Rochester; mustered in as private, Co. K, August 23, 1862, to serve three years; appointed corporal, February 16, 1863; sergeant, May 23, 1863; sergeant major, March! 1, 1861; captured at Wilson's Raid, June 1, 1864, and also, June 29, 1864, place not stated; mustered in as second lieutenant, Co. D, to date February 17, 1865; mustered out with company, June 27, 1865, at Alexandria, Va. Commissioned second lieutenant, February 17, 1865, with rank from October 31, 1864, vice Hamilton, promoted.

 

 

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A top-notch group to a very hard fought unit. I particularly like the rim engraved NY Gettysburg medal. I've been collecting these for a while and the are never easy to find. Thank you for posting the group and the nest of luck with your research!

Michael

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I think the jacket is probably a NY State shell jacket. Cavalry usually didn't wear frock coats but shell jackets instead. It's easier to mount and ride a horse without all the skirt on a frock coat. Many, many officer coats a shell jackets were made to order and were not as uniform as enlisted mens garments.

This is an outstanding group! Thanks for sharing.


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Here is part of a letter I found online that this soldier wrote to his father while a prisoner. From this letter it appears the Lt. was a prisoner in Columbia, SC and not Andersonville, GA. Possibly the great grand daughter had wrong information when donating the lot.

 

PRISONERS OF THE EIGHTH CAVALRY.—Our townsman Wm. H. Moody has received a letter from his son, Charles H. Moody, of the 8th New York Cavalry, a prisoner in the hands of the rebels. Mr. M. was taken prisoner by the rebels with many others on the great raid made by Wilson in June. But little has been known as to the fate of the prisoners. A letter like this, though dated as long ago as July 4th, affords much relief to anxious friends. Mr. Moody sends the names of his comrades in prison of the 8th Cavalry, that their friends may know where they are. He writes from Columbia, S. C., and is in good spirits, hoping to be liberated some time. He says it is useless to write him, for he would probably never receive the letter.
The following is the list of names sent by Mr. Moody of his comrades of the 8th in prison at Columbia:
Sergt. S. Tollett, Co. A; Sergt. Jerry Hickman, Co. B; Sergt. David Brooks, Co. K; Corp. Clark White, Co. K; Corp. Jerry Casey, Co. K; Corp. Roderick White, Co. K; Privates—C. P. Thompson, Co. C; Wm. Doxy, Co. B; J. W. Playford, T. O. Bannister, Co. D; Frank Tibbles, Co. G; Gilbert Brown, S. D. Scott, J. Buckhardt, James Bennett, Co. H; Eugene Terry, Le Roy Pratt, Co. I; Lewis J. Cox, Co. K; E. Burch, Co. L; Manley McLean, Geo. Hosmer, A. Caruthers, John Welsh, Co. M; A. L. Waters, Co. T.

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Here's some more info from the ACW Research Database...

This includes his transfers and that he was taken POW at Reams' Station on 6/29/1864 (which would make sense because that's where they were at on that date according to the regimental history).

 

My 2 cents on the Andersonville is that it is possible but unlikely. Remember he was captured twice in a 28 day span (June of 1864 was not his month). Obviously, Columbia was 1 of the POW camps he was sent. But where was the other? My thought is that Columbia occurred after Reams' Station. He was not held for very long before being paroled after Wilson's Raid. In fact, he may have not gone anywhere and may have been paroled in the field.

 

Logistically, it is unlikely that he was captured, processed, shipped all the way to a POW camp, served a VERY short period of time, paroled, returned to his regiment, re-equipped and brought back into action, then captured again in 28 days.

 

Anyway, here's the info:

 

Charles H. Moody

Residence was not listed; 18 years old.Enlisted on 8/23/1862 at Rochester, NY as a Private.On 8/23/1862 he mustered into "K" Co. NY 8th Cavalry He was Mustered Out on 6/27/1865 at Alexandria, VAHe was listed as:* POW 6/1/1864 Wilson's Raid* POW 6/29/1864 Reams' Station, VAPromotions:* Corpl 2/16/1863 * Sergt 5/23/1863 * Sergt Major 3/1/1864 * 2nd Lieut 10/31/1864 (As of Co. D)Intra Regimental Company Transfers:* 2/17/1865 from company K to company D Sources used by Historical Data Systems, Inc.: - New York:  Report of the Adjutant-General 1893-1906(c) Historical Data Systems, Inc. @ www.civilwardata.com

Interested in ACW & WWII Ohio Identified Items, especially Akron/Cleveland area

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Thank you for the additional information, very kind of you ! Your right, certainly wasn't his month, captured twice in four weeks time. I think I would have asked for a "time out".

 

I was asked if I would show more photos of the medal engraved rim. Here are a couple more.

 

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The 8th NY Cav is an interesting unit. It might be worth getting a letter from the historical society as part of your file on this group. The straps on the jacket seem to be postwar infantry straps. (Yellow dyes during the war were very unstable and straps often shift to a mustard color, but these seem pretty clearly white, and the bullion borders are not alternating "dead and bright.") They might have some information on whether the straps were loose and they added them to the jacket or someone else did.

They might also shed light on the accession number on the sewn-in tag. The first set of digits on most tags indicates the year of the item's accession. In this case it would seem to indicate 1992. It could be a newer tag indicating an old 1892 donation, of course. But, in either case there seems to be a gap between it and the date associated with the donation of medals. It would be interesting to know if they did indeed come in at different times, from different branches of the family, or what.

I like the way the velvet collar on the jacket has oxidized from black to brown.

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My photo was a bit off on the color of the straps. Although I no longer own this lot the straps were indeed a mustered color or very faded yellow. As to the donation: the lot was donated by a great grand daughter in 1965. It all came together.

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Nice piece, but also a reminder of what can happen to something when it is donated to a museum.

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I agree with Steve Rogers' analysis of the shoulder straps. As they appear in the photo, they really do have the look of an infantry 2nd lieutenant's strap of the Span-Am period. I understand that the photo may have failed to show the true color. I often find that a faded yellow strap might preserve the original color where is border meets the field and usually the color of the field is not very uniform in its fading, often with areas that appear brownish in color. That is particularly true of ones with a velvet field. The bullion borders are all dead bullion and might be 3/8", all features more typical of post-Civil War straps. It is very possible that the original ones were removed prior to storage and at some point someone decided that the uniform would show better with a pair of straps. If that is true, I recall that R.E. Lee once saying, "Too bad, too bad," but I would not let a thing like that spoil the acquisition of an otherwise very hard to find uniform. If you look at period photos officers had all kinds of privately purchased jackets. There was no uniformity about them and I am sure that they were a lot more comfortable to wear in the field than the regulation frock coat. It is always good to see an example.

HOWARD LANHAM

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