Exterior Trunk1
Open trunk1Label trunk1Belt plate and sword hangerMunford E. image1Belt Plate No.Belt plate faceBelt Keeper No.2Entire Belt1Wm.M.Ellis family pic 1Wm.M.Ellis2Sword hangerPearl TylerMunford Ellis obit.

Id’d WartimeTraveling Box and Military Belt of Son-in-Law of Pres. John Tyler


Id’d WartimeTraveling Box and Military Belt of Son-in-Law of Pres. John Tyler - This Civil War period small luggage or so-called soldier’s ditty box, was purchased and owned by Private William Munford Ellis of the 4th Virginia Reserve Infantry. Ellis purchased this box in 1864, when he came to Richmond, as a young 18 year old, to serve in the Confederate Army. His unit would actually see action during the latter stages of the Civil War during a series of battles around Danville, Virginia, as well as during the course of fighting in the latter stages of the Petersburg campaign, during the late winter and early spring of 1865. We are showing in this listing, an image of Private Ellis, which is now in the Virginia Historical Society. We obtained the Ellis ditty box, directly from Munford Ellis’ grandson, former Virginia state senator, Madison Marye. Accompanying the box is Private Ellis’ military belt, which we also obtained from Mr. Marye. The belt is the buff leather, U.S., mounted enlisted man’s, sword belt, with a M1851 rectangular eagle plate, with an applied silver wreath. The plate and keeper exhibit matching benchmarks – 923. Only the longer sword hanger remains in place; it appears to be a non-U.S. regulation, war period replacement, with reinforcing rivets of postwar vintage. Munford Ellis was active in Confederate veteran organizations, acting as Commander of a UCV Montgomery County, Virginia camp; we included, for reference only, as the image also resides now in the Virginia Historical Society’s collection, a WWI era image of Ellis, attired in a UCV uniform, wearing a Southern Cross, surrounded by his sons and daughter, all who served during the first World War. Ellis is wearing the belt we are offering – note the M1851 eagle plate on the belt, as well as the same distinctive, non-regulation sword hanger.

The box is in good condition, exhibiting some surface covering loss, but strong wood construction; on the interior of the box lid, is a wonderful, Civil War period label, denoting the box’s period manufacture by a luggage company in Richmond. The wallpaper style lining remains in overall good condition, exhibiting some age wear. The belt is in fine condition, with a reddish, age patina to the face of the belt plate. The box measures as follows: Height – 13”; Depth – 12.5”; Width – 13.75”.

William Munford Ellis (1846-1921) married Pearl Tyler (1860-1947) – Pearl Tyler was daughter of President John Tyler and Julia Gardiner Tyler. Pearl was born at Sherwood Forest Plantation, the Tyler home in Va. Leila Ellis (1888 – 1968), daughter of Wm. Munford Ellis and Pearl Tyler Ellis, married Ambrose Madison Marye (1887 – 1972); Madison Ellis Marye (1925 – 2016) was their son. Madison Marye was a veteran of WWII, Korea and Vietnam; he was a successful businessman and farmer in southwestern Va. and served as a Va. state senator for 29 years. Again, we obtained Private Ellis’ ditty box and belt, directly from former Senator Marye.

William M. Ellis

Residence was not listed;

Enlisted as a Private (date unknown).

He also had service in: A Co. 4th Virginia Reserves Infantry


4th Virginia Reserves Infantry

Note: Formerly known as the 5th Regiment Virginia Reserves and Preston’s Regiment (Battalion). Muster In: Organized with seven companies as Preston’s Infantry Battalion Reserves on August 27, 1864.  Increased to a regiment on November 24, 1864. Muster Out: Disbanded on April 12, 1865. Commander(s): Colonel Robert Taylor Preston; Engagements: Battles around Danville (Jan. 1865); Siege of Petersburg (1865)

4th VA Infantry

Organized: on 11/24/64 Mustered Out: 4/12/65 at Christianburg, VA





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