Personal campaign chest of a Civil War soldier could bring $40,000

Skinner's upcoming Science, Technology and Clocks sale on November 20 will also feature some prized lots for militaria collectors.

A major highlight in the auction is the Civil War Campaign Chest of 2nd Lt John Davis Edgell (1836-1917). Edgell was born and died in Gardner, Massachusetts, and was commissioned as 2nd Lieutenant after working at Gardner's Savings Bank for 50 years, including a stint as President.

Edgell is understood to have served with the occupation forces in New Orleans. The lot for sale at Skinner includes his dark blue wool 53rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment nine button officer's frock coat with lining and velvet-lined collar, and two sword belts.

Also included in the sale is his sky blue wool nine button vest, officer's cap, black and gold campaign hat, and two commissioned coloured sashes: officer's crimson and officer's burgundy. What's more, besides Edgell's uniform the lot is also remarkable for its inclusion of various personal items...

The Civil War Campaign Chest of 2nd Lt John Davis Edgell

Among them is Edgell's leather percussion cap pouch, a tin shaving mug and a US officer's non-regulation "soft knapsack" initialled "JDL".

Also for sale are two small photographs of Lt Edgell in uniform - one inscribed New Orleans, LA May 1863 - and another photo of his wife, Sarah A Greenwood. Edgell carried the ambrotype of Sarah with him to war, which undoubtedly helped lift his spirits in times of hardship.

As well as offering a comprehensive officer's uniform and accessories, Skinner's lot also contains further clues about 'the man behind the rank'. Among them is his Holy Bible stamped in gold, "JD Edgell" and even Edgell's wedding certificate.

The above items are being sold in Lt Edgell's campaign trunk which bears his name, rank and regiment stencilled in red. The trunk measures 11 x 14 x 24 inches. Overall, this revealing and exceptional lot will auction at Skinner estimated at $30,000-40,000.

Skinner is based in Boston, Massachusetts, US. Watch this space for upcoming news on the sale.


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