Mar 25, 2021 - Sale 2562

Sale 2562 - Lot 282

Price Realized: $ 5,750
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 1,500 - $ 2,500
(MILITARY--CIVIL WAR.) Tintype portrait of a servant named Gabriel with a Rhode Island artillery battery. Sixteenth-plate tintype photograph, 1 3/4 x 1 1/2 inches, light creasing; in period metal mat, mounted in slightly larger period case, 3 x 2 1/2 inches. [Brandy Station, VA?], 10 April 1864

Additional Details

The tintype has a period paper note affixed on verso (photograph provided) reading "Gabriel, a servant of Lieut. Corthell, Battery G, 1st R.I. Lt. Artil'y. Gabe's characteristic: happy as a clam. Apr. 10 1864."

Elmer Lawrence Corthell (1840-1916), who employed Gabriel, had been a student at Brown University when the war broke out, enlisted as a private in the 1st Rhode Island Light Artillery, and then joined the officer ranks with the new Battery H in October 1862. As an officer with Battery H, he was mainly in and near Washington, seeing little combat. After his transfer to Battery G in early November 1863, he soon saw action at the Battle of Rappahannock Station, and then wintered at the major Union supply depot at Brandy Station in northern Virginia, where he remained through May. Gabriel quite possibly joined him that winter at Brandy Station, which was an active destination for "contraband" refugees from slavery.