Fine Id’d Confederate Ambrotype, Cross of Honor, CDV and Gold Patriotic Pin


Fine Id’d Confederate Ambrotype, Cross of Honor, CDV and Gold Patriotic Pin – This superior grouping contains a 1/6 plate ambrotype of Lt. Alexander Johnson, his war time patriotic pin, Johnson’s post war academic pin, his Southern Cross of Honor, a wartime CDV of Johnson, a folk art Confederate flag frame, a Confederate flag watercolor, as well as three additional hard images and an additional CDV. Alexander C. Johnson was born around 1842, in South Carolina. Johnson was a young, 19 year old student, in Salem, Virginia, at the outbreak of the Civil War; in May of 1861, he enlisted, as a Private, in Company A, of the 9th Virginia Infantry. In May of 1862, Johnson transferred to the Salem (Virginia) Flying Light Artillery Battery; he would subsequently muster out of the Salem unit, on July 25, 1862, and then re-enlist in the 7th South Carolina Cavalry, Holcombe’s Legion. Johnson attained the rank of Lieutenant in the famed, South Carolina unit, named after Lucy Holcombe, the wife of the wartime Governor of South Carolina. Johnson served throughout the war, in the 7th SC Cavalry; he became a resident, in his later years, of the R. E. Lee Soldiers’ Home in Richmond, Virginia. Johnson died in 1905 and is buried in East Hill Cemetery, in Salem, Virginia.

This grouping includes the following: 1/6 plate ambrotype of Lt. Johnson, in uniform, in a half case; a CDV of Lt. Johnson, in uniform, housed in a folk art frame, painted with several Confederate flags, surrounding the image oval; an unidentified 1/6 plate ambrotype of a civilian man, in a half case; two 1/9 plate tintypes of unidentified civilian men, in half cases; an unidentified CDV of a Civil War period woman; a Southern Cross of Honor, inscribed, on the top pin bar, with “A. Johnson, C 7th SC Cav. Holcombe Legion”; a rose gold, Civil War period, patriotic shield / pin with T-bar attaching device, inscribed with the Latin phrase “Non Nobis Sed Patriae” (Not For Us But For Our Country), on the front of the pin, inscribed with Johnson’s initials on the back; a rose gold pair of academic award, Maltese cross pins, with Johnson’s name on the back – dated in the 1880s; a period framed watercolor of a panoply of Confederate flags – this painting was undoubtedly completed by Lt. Johnson when he was a resident at the Lee Soldier’s Home, in Richmond.

The Holcombe Legion was organized during the fall of 1861 with a cavalry and infantry battalion, but no artillery companies. The four-company cavalry battalion served for a time with the legion, was assigned to the Department of Richmond, and eventually became part of the 7th South Carolina Cavalry Regiment. The infantry battalion was formed with eight companies, later increased to ten. During the war it was attached to Evans’, Elliot’s, and Wallace’s Brigade. After serving in South Carolina it moved to Virginia and fought at Second Manassas, South Mountain, and Sharpsburg. The unit was then sent to North Carolina and later Mississippi. It was active at Jackson, moved to Charleston, and in the spring of 1864 returned to Virginia. Here it participated in the long Petersburg siege north and south of the James River and the Appomattox Campaign. A portion of Holcombe Legion was present at the surrender on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Courthouse in Virginia.

This command lost 24 killed and 131 wounded at Second Manassas, had 18 wounded during the Maryland Campaign, and in September, 1863, totaled 276 men. It surrendered 2 officers and 30 men. The field officers were Colonels William J. Crawley, Stephen Elliot, Jr., W. Pinkney Shingler, and P.F. Stevens; Lieutenant Colonels F.G. Palmer and Thomas V. Walsh; and Majors A.C. Garlington and Martin G. Zeigler.

This rare grouping is in excellent condition; all images are strong. The ambrotype of Lt. Johnson depicts him in his frock coat, wearing an officer’s chausseur or forage style cap, holding a large Bowie style knife. We have had several Southern Crosses of Honor, but this is a markedly rarer example, exhibiting the officer’s name and regiment engraved on the pin bar. The folk art frame was also probably painted by Lt. Johnson when he was at the Lee Soldier’s Home. This is an unusual opportunity to obtain a fine, identified Confederate grouping, associated with a famed South Carolina Cavalry unit.

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