Apr 13, 2023 - Sale 2633

Sale 2633 - Lot 45

Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE.) Carte-de-visite portrait of the noted Confederate engineer Walter Gwynn, with related family papers. Albumen photograph, 3 1/2 x 2 inches, on original plain mount, with pictorial paper label of photographer Quinby of Charleston, SC. Charleston, SC, circa 1861

Additional Details

Walter Gwynn (1802-1882) was one of the South's leading railroad construction engineers from the 1830s to the 1850s. He retired to Charleston, SC in 1857, and became a major of the engineers in the South Carolina militia. He held a variety of engineering posts in the Confederacy in 1861, and then served a stint as major and colonel in the Confederate Army in late 1862 through 1863, before returning to civilian posts. This uniformed portrait of Gwynn is his best-known image.

Also included are 3 documents relating to Gwynn's nephew Walter Gwynn Turpin (1828-1874), also a Confederate engineer: two relating to his Masonic degree in February 1865; and a farewell letter to Turpin from his former commanding officer, paroled Confederate Brigadier General Walter H. Stevens, on 1 May 1865: "From nearly three years intimate association with you on duty, I have marked with pleasure your skill and energy as an engineer, and your fidelity as an officer of the gov't. . . . I tender you very best wishes for your future in resuming your profession, and commend you to the favorable notice of those who entrust their interests to their care."

Also, Turpin's well-preserved leather wallet as secretary of the "J.R. & K Canal Co.," his business card, and a piece of his stationery; the Gwynn family crest embossed on a blank business card; a Confederate Quartermaster pass issued for "Jas Piper & one man" to travel on a James River packet boat into Richmond, 6 July 1864; and an 1882 clipping of Gwynn's obituary.