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Battle of Gettysburg - Devil's Den

Vintage Standard Sized Display

1148175-1

$295.00 - Product is currently out of stock.

The Battle of Gettysburg, Devil's Den, July 1863. Custom framed 8 x 10 inch shadowbox display featuring a buck and ball load for a .69 caliber musket, an authentic relic attributed to the battle. This artifact, plucked personally from the battlefield by J. Howard Wert (February 12, 1841 - March 11, 1920), renowned author, educator, Civil War veteran and collector, was part of his coveted Civil War collection, described during his lifetime as "Probably the rarest and most valuable private collection of war relics from the battlefields of the Civil War..." and one of the "Big Six" collections of Gettysburg relics.

In the summer of 1863 the Army of Northern Virginia invaded Pennsylvania. A member of the Adams Rifles militia unit, Wert served as a scout for the Union forces, gathering information on Rebel strength in Chambersburg before the Battle of Gettysburg. On the initial day of the battle, he guided the First Corps to the Seminary and assisted in the retreat to Cemetery Hill. On July 2, he helped Union forces reach Little Round Top when it was threatened on the left of the Union line; that night he led Geary's Division back to Culp's Hill on the Union right. On the final day of the battle, he helped reinforcements reach Cemetery Ridge to repel Pickett's Charge. 

In the days following the conflict, Wert walked the battlefield gathering artifacts left by the soldiers who fought there. Wert carefully notated exactly where each piece was discovered, which provided invaluable information for later researchers. One such note of provenance has been reproduced on this display, in full and at actual size. It reads "_ Hospital on the field of the _ Corps, Gettysburg, containing _ used buck and ball, six musket balls, 1 shrapnel, 1 cartridge box knob, 4 unused cartridges from various parts of Gettysburg battlefield. And six buckles from woods in back of the Devil's Den, all picked up by J. Howard Wert, July 1863."

Wert was encouraged by his father to preserve mementos given to him or found on the battlefield - a practice which dovetailed with the family habit of preserving relics connected with the anti-slavery "Underground Railroad." He continued these Gettysburg battle relic explorations well into 1864, the year in which he became a soldier himself. On March 11, 1920, Wert died in Harrisburg, his final resting place located in Gettysburg.

This original artifact, attributed to The Battle of Gettysburg, is in its original "found" condition and considered museum-ready. It is mounted on a backdrop of original graphic artwork, 8 x 10 inches, created exclusively by JG Autographs Inc. It comes custom-framed in a metallic black shadowbox display.

 

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TAGS: Union (Civil War), Confederacy (Civil War)

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