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Civil War "Presentation Watch" Brev. Brig. General Pitcairn Morrison

robert jeansonne

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For those of you who are into Presentation watches, check out my recent purchase. You can still find these gems out there; they are an invaluable piece of history with a story to tell.


This man, Pitcairn Morrison, had an amazing career in the Military. He started his military career in 1820. He was under the command of Zachary Taylor in the First Infantry in the 1820's. I found a letter on line that Zac Taylor had written from Ft. Snelling to a friend talking about how upset he was that he had to give up his "negroes" (he had a lot of slaves at the time), and had left them with P. Morrison to find them work. Apparently the US government didn't allow officers to own slaves.

In 1837, Osceola had been captured and was put in a temporary jail with 200 other Indians. P. Morrison was put in command of Osceola and had orders to move him and his followers to another prison,(Morrison put them on a boat and moved them to another prison), where Osceola died in early 1838. Osceola's head was removed by an onsite doctor, and all of Osceola's belongings were to be put in the grave, but Morrison ordered that not to happen and eventually they found their way to the Smithsonian. Morrison later moved several hundred more Seminole Indians to Ft, Gibson, OK (where he was in command) in the 1830's. This was the start of the first trail of tears to Oklahoma.


Colonel Morrison fought in the US/Mexican wars in the mid 1840's and fought beside U.S. Grant and Alexander Hayes in the 4th Infantry, where Morrison was a captain and Grant and Hays were lieutenants.

In 1855, while commander at Ft. Gibson, the 2nd US Calvary, came to visit Colonel Morrison on their way to Texas, with Lt. Colonel Robert E. Lee second in command. Jeb Stuart was also there.

The biggest event which actually changed the course of American History, was a direst result of an order Colonel Morrison at Ft. Buchanan in AZ in 1861. I'm sure you have probably heard of the "Bascom Affair". In early 1861, a rancher rode into Ft. Buchanan complaining of a kid napping of his step son and a loss of many of his mules and cattle stolen by the Apache Indians. Although the rancher wasn't there, he said the guilty party rode towards Apache Pass, according to the rancher's wife.. Having had problems previously with Cochise, Morrison assumed Cochise was the guilty party. Morrison wrote an order (order No.4) and sent an inexperienced Lt., George Bascom, with 54 men, to get back the child and the stolen cattle. Morrison's captain and 1st Lt were away on detachment. He gave orders to use whatever means and force necessary to get the child back. Cochise and Bascom eventually met, with Cochise and many of Cochise's relatives in a tent near Apache Pass. Cochise said he had nothing to do with it, but Bascom accused him of the kidnapping. Bascom held Cochise's relatives hostage, after Chochise made an escape from the tent. Cochise captured some white prisoners from the nearby Overland Express, but Bascom wouldn't do a prisoner exchange. A battle ensued. Cochise killed the white prisoners in retaliation. When Bascom found them the next day, he ordered the relatives of Cochise to be hung on the spot. Cochise's brother and two nephews were hung. This started the Apache wars for the next 25 years. Bascom died later in 1861 in a civil war battle. Ft. Buchanan was burned in March of 1861, so the confederates couldn't use the fort. Cochise vowed to kill every white man he and the Apaches could as long as he lived. There was a movie made about this and second battle at Apache Pass, in 1952, "Battle at Apache Pass"


Colonel Morrison was in charge of A POW prison in 1861, and was the current Colonel of the 8th infantry. Some of his companies were detached and sent to battles such as Bull Run and Antietam. He was also in charge of recruiting, and retired in 1863. He was put back to work in the military in 1864, at Benton Barracks. I found a letter on Fold3 that the governor of Illinois and General McClernand (who were both buddies of Abe Lincoln), in 1862, that had been written and signed by both and addressed to Lincoln requesting a Brevet to General for Morrison. He finally got the Brevet to General in 1865, before the war ended.


In 1867, Morrison was one of the military Jurors selected for General George A. Custer's court marshal. I would like to think this watch was ticking away at that court marshal.

The inscription on the watch reads "Presented to P. Morrison Commander of Draft Barracks by his Friends officers of Mo Regt's. under his command May 7th 1864"

If anyone would like to share their presentation watch, I for one would love to see it.
Robert






 

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mauleg

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Thanks, Robert for all of your research and for sharing this excellently detailed excerpt of a terribly brutal chapter in American history. If only that watch could talk...
 

Peixian

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thank you for the sharing,excellent article.I will keep an eyes on their representation watch if I meet it.
 

RON in PA

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Thanks for sharing and a very interesting history lesson.

Could you tell us more about the watch, esp. the movement. Unfortunately your photos are very small and fuzzy.
 

robert jeansonne

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id1279-img31137[1].gif 20160304_162308.jpeg id1279-img31128[1].gif 20160304_164502.jpg id1279-img31146[1].gif The movement is a JAS Hoddall and co. English make. I have no idea of the jewel count. It runs and keeps good time. This appears to be an American 18k case made special for the movement. All serial numbers, including the movement serial numbers match. It was probably somewhat of a "pricey" watch of it's day. I don't know if the quality would rival a Howard or AT grade Waltham of the time, but it appears to be well constructed. Here are more photos.....
 

MartyR

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The watchmaker is James Hoddell of Coventry and London. I have some biographical information on him.

The company started as James Hoddell and he was working on his own as a watchmaker in about 1842 at Craven Street, Coventry and at 15 Northampton Square, London.

By the 1851 census James, his wife Ann, and two children were living at Craven Street, Chapel Field, Coventry. James Hoddell (age 37) watch manufacturer was then employing 38 people. About 1854, the company changed it's name to James Hoddell & Co. and this name continued until after the 1900's.

In 1857 they applied for a patent for a design of a mainspring. In 1876, the company registered their punchmark of JH above CH. The company was registered as James Hoddell & Cope Hoddell (father and son)and they were trading at Chapel Field and at 9 Hertford Place, Coventry and 15 Northampton Square, London.

In the 1861 London Trades Directory they were listed as Chronometer makers. They were also trading in Coventry at 2 Oxford Terrace, Chapel Fields (1854-1859). In the census of that year 1861, they were living at Oxford Terrace, Coventry. James Hoddell (48) watch manufacturer, employing 30 men and 7 boys, and Cope (20) watch manufacturer.

In 1866 Cope married, and later the same year James died.

In 1889 the firm was declared bankrupt at Chapel Fields, Coventry, but obviously continued trading after the bankruptcy. The business had moved out of London prior to 1902.

It is interesting to note that James Hoddell & Co. watches were imported to the USA by Fellows & Schell and that one of their watches was used as the model for the Wadsworth watches made by Newark Watch Co. in 1864.
Your photos are still not sharp, but your second latest photo has what look rather like "Liverpool windows" - not Coventry! Also I am baffled by thaty square on the balance cock beside the endstone. Is it possible for you to post a really sharp zoomable photo for us?
 

John Pavlik

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Marty, The square is a window cut into the balance cock.. and yes it is glazed.. Usually done to view the center wheel jewel.. A lessor seen
feature from approx. the 1850's.. Usually on higher grade lever fusees.. Very nice watch and dedication...
 

Keith R...

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Very nice watch complete with provenance. I wish we had a section set aside for these watches as
Clint has another with provenance. I am speaking to the American Civil War aspect, not the makers.

Keith
 

robert jeansonne

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Thanks guys for your imput. My limited knowledge of watches are on the American side, not foreign. There is a similar watch listed on ebay with a Confederate provenance, made by the Hoddell company as well, in an 18k case. Very similar to mine. He has it advertised with Diamond settings, rather than the standard ruby jewel settings, and advertises it as having 23 jewels. Is it possible that the English made a watch movement in the 1860's with that many jewels? I do agree it is a higher grade movement, but where it would stack up against a Howard or AT waltham grade, I do not know. Any imput would be greatly appreciated. SORRY FOR THE HORRIBLE PHOTOS.
ROBERT
 

Keith R...

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Robert, here are two watches from The Joseph Johnson watch making dynasty, both with
about a 17J count. The sons watch is hallmarked for 1850 and both of these watches are
equal in performance to my 1864 E Howard series III 15J Balance over center wheel.

You have an equivalent time piece to the AT&Co or Howard grades of the period. So
congrats on your watch. I've seen the Confederate watch, it is not 23 jewels.

Note, if jeweled through the center wheel, one could squeeze 19J out of it I would think.

Keith

View attachment 295828 103_9515 (800x600).jpg
 

Clint Geller

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Robert, here are two watches from The Joseph Johnson watch making dynasty, both with
about a 17J count. The sons watch is hallmarked for 1850 and both of these watches are
equal in performance to my 1864 E Howard series III 15J Balance over center wheel.

You have an equivalent time piece to the AT&Co or Howard grades of the period. So
congrats on your watch. I've seen the Confederate watch, it is not 23 jewels.

Note, if jeweled through the center wheel, one could squeeze 19J out of it I would think.

Keith

View attachment 415716 261406.jpg
Very interesting provenance, Robert. Congratulations on your purchase. Morrison's long career intersected with several noteworthy historical events and personalities.

As others have already suggested, the Ebay listing you mentioned is in error about the jewel count, and I doubt that your watch has more than 17 jewels, if that many, as the British did not reckon quality that way. Their jeweling practices were much more like Edward Howard's, and in fact, some very high grade English chronometers had fewer than 15 jewels (especially since fewer jewels were needed in a spring detent escapement than in a lever escapement).

The solid balance wheel (which may be gold) indicates a lack of temperature compensation, like most American watches of the same period. Many AT&Co, and all American Grade Walthams, and most Howards, had temperature compensated balances in the CW period. Marty indicated that Fellows & Shell imported Hoddell watches, and a quick Internet search turned up that a Louis Strite Fellows (born 1798) was married to an Emily Schell (born 1807). Hence, the case marking, "L. S. F. & S." very likely indicates that the movement was cased and sold by the firm of Fellows & Schell, though their cases are more often marked, simply "F. & S." In the 1860s this firm sold Howard watches, and probably also Walthams too.

By the way, I am pleased to see that someone else on this board shares my enthusiasm for, and is actively collecting Civil War provenance watches. I was feeling like the odd man out.
 
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MartyR

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Marty, The square is a window cut into the balance cock.. and yes it is glazed.. Usually done to view the center wheel jewel.. A lessor seen
feature from approx. the 1850's.. Usually that it was made by on higher grade lever fusees..
Thanks for that info, John :thumb:

Is that window an American feature? If so, could that have been cut after the watch was received in America, or do you think it was made by Hoddell?

And by the way, do you see a certain Liverpoolness in the movement plate?
 

Dave Coatsworth

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I have an Edward Kingsley - London movement with a round window. I always figured it was so you could see the balance wheel moving with the dust cover on.

PM1113.jpg
 

Clint Geller

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Thanks for that info, John :thumb:

Is that window an American feature? If so, could that have been cut after the watch was received in America, or do you think it was made by Hoddell?

And by the way, do you see a certain Liverpoolness in the movement plate?
Fenestrated balance cocks are a definitely and probably exclusively English feature, not American. Perhaps that is because only English watch movements had integral dust covers that showed the balance cock, but concealed the balance wheel from view.
 
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Keith R...

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Robert I agree with Clint's words 100%. I failed to mention the difference between a gold
3 arm balance and a split compensated balance. However, in terms of timing performance,
I cannot distinguish the timing differences between these two watches. The first circa 1850,
the second, circa 1864, but with a split compensated balance as Cliff indicates. I have a third
AT&Co grade also from 64 and all three watches have been serviced and all three time within
30 seconds per day. You and Clint are fortunate to have the provenance with these watches.

PS, the balance cock window is used to show off a hidden jewel typically. Nice movement
Dave.

Keith

View attachment 295837 View attachment 295838
 
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robert jeansonne

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Thanks to all replies. I found this watch, and the Bean watch, on a website from a very respectable CW gun dealer in Arkansas. I was actually looking at his guns (I have a few CW carbines and other firearms, some with provenances), and stumbled across some of his other CW items listed. He had just listed it, and I was actually very nervous about it even making it to me, as I know how collectable these are. Thankfully, the seller was a very ethical. He did e-mail me and said he could have sold the watch 10 times over, so thankfully it made it to me. Thanks to Clint for his help and comments and his enthusiasm for Presentation watches, and others on the board. I relish CW artifacts and believe they are about the most satisfying collectables out there. Anything from the CW era with a provenance, watch, gun, sword, document, is about as good as it gets, in my opinion (BTW, if you have very deep pockets , and are interested in presentation watches, check out the RockIsland gun auction for next month. There will be up for sale a Presentation watch presented to the Capt. who captured Geronimo in 1886. I believe he was presented with a nice Winchester as well that may be part of the lot)
Robert
 
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John Pavlik

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Marty, yes I do see the Liverpool likeness.. This watch may have 23 jewels. Look closely and it appears the lever is capped, and if it is many times the escape wheel is also.. This period brough a lot of Glamor to watches.. High jewel count, windows in the cock, screwed plates to name a few. Mid 1840's until about 1860 appears to be the cap jewel period ! :)
 

gmorse

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Hi Martin,

...Is that window an American feature? If so, could that have been cut after the watch was received in America, or do you think it was made by Hoddell?...
The window was certainly there when the cock was engraved, there's a clear border around it which is free of the foliate scrolls. It does seem to have the train layout of a "Liverpool Runner", the large jewels appear to be quite pale in colour, and also the barrel click has a double tooth. Unfortunately the picture isn't clear enough to see how the regulator index scale is engraved.

Regards,

Graham
 

John Pavlik

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An example of a 23 jewel English watch, not nearly as nice as the Hoddell.. And a little earlier, 1824 case mark by Wm John Hammon. Maker Wm Jack.. Cap jewels on the lever and escape wheel.. Big watch too.. Weighs 205 grams... Sterling silver..
 

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PapaLouies

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Hi John,

Is the case marked 1843? The movement looks more like 1850's.

Regards,

PL
 

John Pavlik

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PL, not that I can see. The letter Mark is a small i and the maker Wm Hammon did not us the W I H, with dots between the letters, after 1823-24... So that is my assumption... While the movement appears later, the cock, the pin plates are typical of the period.. The case doe not have the movement number in it.. But the pendant is the large bulbous type often seen pre 1840.. Without Wm R Javks being listed, other Jacks are, I am making an assumption..
 

Clint Geller

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Marty, yes I do see the Liverpool likeness.. This watch may have 23 jewels. Look closely and it appears the lever is capped, and if it is many times the escape wheel is also.. This period brough a lot of Glamor to watches.. High jewel count, windows in the cock, screwed plates to name a few. Mid 1840's until about 1860 appears to be the cap jewel period ! :)
Albeit my eyes aren't very good right now, because I am dealing with a double vision issue, but I didn't see any cap jewels on that watch. When chronometers of that period were capped on the pallet lever and escape wheel, which was rare, they were only capped on one side. The watches Waltham sent to the English market early on were mostly 7 jewel. And anyway, a 23 jewel watch would need a jeweled barrel or fusee as well as cap jewels on both sides of the escape wheel and pallet lever. Can you show me a well documented example of a non-complicated English watch from the 1840 to 1860 period with 23 jewels?
 
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PapaLouies

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Hi John,

Thanks for the response, I think we must look under the dial to make sure on 23 jewel English watches.

Regards,

PL
 

John Pavlik

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I agree we should and I did ... I am by no means saying this was a regular occurrence.... One thing I learned 25 years ago, especially with American watches, is to count with the dial off.. Most English watch are jeweled on both plates the same.. And I did say most...not all... Contrast the American system of anything goes and jeweling rules are nonexistent... The English were very competent at innovation... While cap jeweling's worth is still debated today, I do not find it difficult to find an English watchmaker that thought it was a good thing and doing it could bring a few extra pence at sale..
 

PapaLouies

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Hi John,

I was not trying to single out English watches, I would look to confirm on any watch where there could be a question.

Regards,

PL
 

Keith R...

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So the center wheel is jeweled on that Southern watch? I wish they would have
titled it differently. Keith
 
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Clint Geller

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I agree we should and I did ... I am by no means saying this was a regular occurrence.... One thing I learned 25 years ago, especially with American watches, is to count with the dial off.. Most English watch are jeweled on both plates the same.. And I did say most...not all... Contrast the American system of anything goes and jeweling rules are nonexistent... The English were very competent at innovation... While cap jeweling's worth is still debated today, I do not find it difficult to find an English watchmaker that thought it was a good thing and doing it could bring a few extra pence at sale..
So you are saying that there are cap jewels on both sides of the lever and escape wheel. Where exactly are the 22nd and 23rd jewels? Is the barrel or the fusee jeweled as well?
 

John Pavlik

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Clint, as you stated above, your are having Dbl vision problems, which at best, would make it very difficult to view posted photos.. So I understand your questions on the obvious... And the oft quoted, a photo is worth a thousand words, would not apply here.. The fusee is jeweled as seen in the photo... :)Sorry if my math is not that good, 23 jewels... Escapement 7, lever 4, escape wheel 4, 3rd wheel 2, 4th wheel 2, main wheel 2, fusee 2....
 
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Clint Geller

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Clint, as you stated above, your are having Dbl vision problems, which at best, would make it very difficult to view posted photos.. So I understand your questions on the obvious... And the oft quoted, a photo is worth a thousand words, would not apply here.. The fusee is jeweled as seen in the photo... :)Sorry if my math is not that good, 23 jewels... Escapement 7, lever 4, escape wheel 4, 3rd wheel 2, 4th wheel 2, main wheel 2, fusee 2....
Thanks, John. I am dealing with a condition called "sixth nerve palsy" in my left eye, which forces me to cover one eyeglass lens to eliminate the resulting diplopia. But it is an imperfect solution, especially since the vision in my other eye isn't that great. The good news is that the palsy supposedly will resolve itself in time without intervention, though that is taking a while.
 

John Pavlik

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Age, which I'm afflicted with, is a nemesis that is not fun to fight... I can't hear well, which sometimes is a good thing, but sight problems, can be a nightmare... Best of luck and hope it goes away fast...
 

robert jeansonne

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Jan, the serial number is 14744, all match on the case as well as the movement. If anyone know who the case maker L.S.F. & S is, PLK. I cannot find any info. on this case maker, but assume it is American. Thanks
Robert
 

Clint Geller

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Jan, the serial number is 14744, all match on the case as well as the movement. If anyone know who the case maker L.S.F. & S is, PLK. I cannot find any info. on this case maker, but assume it is American. Thanks
Robert
Robert, please see one of my previous posts. I believe the case marking stands for Louis Strite Fellows & Schell, even though that firm more often marked their cases "F. & S." Marty provided the information that Hoddell watches were marketed in the US by Fellows & Schell. The lack of English hallmarks indicates that it is an American made case, which was not uncommon for an imported English watch.
 

robert jeansonne

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Thanks Clint....did not know L.S. stood for Louis Strite, I did see Marty's post but did not they were the same. Appreciate the info.
 

PapaLouies

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Hi John,

On robert's watch, I see an unusual hair-spring stud that I've seen before. In your vast array of English watches have you come across the same style stud? But more intriguing, on robert's watch, if 23 jewels, is that it has a non-compensated balance wheel. Just a thought, it seems a window cut in the balance bar would defeat the purpose of a dust cap.

Regards,

PL
 

PapaLouies

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To John and Clint, I will be 80 in July. Remember, old guys rule! Ha!

Regards,

PL
 

Keith R...

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PL, I could be wrong, but John Pavlik is saying the 'confederate watch is 23 jewels, not
Roberts watch.

Keith
 

Clint Geller

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Robert's watch is the confederate watch.

PL
Wait, why is Col. Pitcairn Morrison's watch a "Confederate watch?" Morrison was a Union army officer and his watch was sold by a northern retailer.

I have six watches with Civil War provenances, including one I purchased from Robert - my only "confederate watch." I have probably shown them all previously on other threads, so I didn't want to steal any part of the spotlight from Robert's very interesting new find. All of my watches are American made. Watches with confederate provenances are more likely to be English or Swiss. To my annoyance, my one confederate provenance watch, a silver PSB Grade Model 1857 carried by Private William Wilson Sloan of the 33rd Texas Cavalry (aka "Duff's raiders," aka the "Benevides Regiment," which had a very checkered history), is the only one for which I have not been able to find a picture of the owner (though I have a picture of his tombstone). Though Sloan survived the war, he was not quite sixteen years old when the war began, and being only a private, he was less likely to have had a posed photograph taken. I have found none. I did find a letter he wrote sometime after the war. Oh well.
 

PapaLouies

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Clint,

I was just responding to Keith's comment, I know the watch is North!

Regard,

PL
 

robert jeansonne

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My watch is definitely not Confederate....and Clint if you would like to post your watches, you will in no way take away from this post. I personally would like to see them, as I'm sure others would as well. They are fascinating pieces of history, and you could probably find a lot more about the owner's on fold3, or just google their names. I believe the reference to the "confederate watch" is the English one listed on ebay, similiar to mine, which by the way was purchased from the Skinner auction house last year for about one third his asking price. It has an afterthought provenance dated 1869 inscribed on the cuvette.
 

Clint Geller

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My watch is definitely not Confederate....and Clint if you would like to post your watches, you will in no way take away from this post. I personally would like to see them, as I'm sure others would as well. They are fascinating pieces of history, and you could probably find a lot more about the owner's on fold3, or just google their names. I believe the reference to the "confederate watch" is the English one listed on ebay, similiar to mine, which by the way was purchased from the Skinner auction house last year for about one third his asking price. It has an afterthought provenance dated 1869 inscribed on the cuvette.
OK, Robert. With your permission, I will post pix of my watches on this thread, but I have amassed a lot of information about the respective owners, and I want to do it right. So maybe later this weekend. Right now, I need to train my one eye on some Applied Nuclear Physics homework papers I am grading for the course I am teaching.
 

Keith R...

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Joseph Johnson #7771 was owned by the first commanding officer on a US Naval flag ship assigned
to guard the coast in 1845. My provenance is in the hands of the gent I bought the watch from. My
last discussion he wanted more money for the provenance. I quit talking with him at that point.

Keith
 

John Pavlik

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PL, I have seen this type of stud before, not common, I fell just a bit more elaborate than most but fits woth the finish of this watch.. I am not sure I follow your thought, on the balance cock "window" and the dust cap.... The cap still would function as the between plates space would still be covered by a dust cap ... The window has a glass cover, much like a bezel and crystal.. Solid balance with a higher jewel count, hmmm, you would think a split compensated would be the norm, but I guess it comes down to how does it time with a solid balance? Cap jeweling is a dirt protection for pivots & lubrication.. A compensating balance is for positional and temperture accuracy ... So your guess would be as good as mine, understanding the manufacture with a the solid balance..
 

Clint Geller

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Ok, I'll put these watches up for discussion one at a time. The watches are all Walthams, ranging in quality from a 7 jewel PSB Grade Model 1857 with steel balance in a 4 oz. silver case, to a 15 jewel AT&Co. Grade Model 1857 with compensated balance in an 18K case. The owners range in notoriety from an obscure, teenaged confederate cavalry private without even a picture, to a distinguished federal major general who has been depicted by 19th century illustrators in heroic acts. Four of the six watches are Model 1857s, one is an AT&Co Grade Model 1859, and one is an AT&Co. Grade 16 Size KW. Four are presentation watches, and the other two were engraved at the owners' requests. The three watches presented to officers, two generals and a major, are 18K gold. The other watches are all silver.

I'll begin with my one Johnny Reb watch, the one I got from Robert in May of 2014.

The Watch: The movement is an 11 jewel Bartlett grade Model 1857 Waltham with steel balance, S# 32,541, manufactured in March, 1860. The cuvette of the eagle marked silver, engine turned "Am. Watch. Co." hunting case is engraved: "W. W. Sloan, Jan.y 28th, 1861." That very significant date was that on which the historic "Secession Session" of the Texas State legislature convened. I am guessing that the watch was a gift to young William Sloan, probably from his father, who had purchased it around the time of Texas' secession, and later gave it to his son when he enlisted in 1863.

The Man: William Wilson Sloan (9/25/1845 - 11/29/1925) was born in Carthage, TN and came to Texas in 1851. He enlisted in the 33rd Texas Cavalry in 1863 at the age of either 17 or 18, and served as a private in Company D of that unit until the end of the Civil War. Little is known about Private Sloan's specific exploits beyond some general information about the activities of his unit. It is known, however, that on September 2, 1863 near the town of Mier in Mexico, two lieutenants and 35 men of Company D, along with a similar number of men from Company H, stole up on, surrounded and killed the notorious Mexican pro-Union guerrilla, Octaviano Zapata, and his lieutenants, whose "banditti" had been raiding across the border into Texas and disrupting confederate supply lines. Sloan may have been among the men who participated in that operation, and who, according to the report of then Major (subsequently Colonel) Santos Benavides, "without exception showed great gallantry."

Wm. Sloan married Mary Frances Smith in 1868 and fathered two daughters and six sons. After holding the offices of mayor, magistrate and public weigher for several years during his residence in the town of Flatonia, TX he moved to San Antonio in 1893 and became a partner in an undertaking firm, from which he retired in 1917. He was a member of the first school board under San Antonio independent school district, and was one of the founders of Prospect Hill Baptist Church, of which he was a member. On September 11, 1909, Sloan published a well written letter full of vivid descriptions of nature in the San Antonio Express, recalling his family's migration on the steamboat William Penn from Tennessee down to Texas. He is buried in the Confederate Cemetery in San Antonio, TX (tombstone image provided).

His Unit: the 33rd TX Cavalry had a checkered history. The regiment was formed in 1863, using the pre-existing Duff's 14'th TX Cavalry Battalion as its nucleus, to which several tejano companies were then added. The regimental commander, Colonel Santos Benavides, was the highest ranking Spanish speaking Texan (tejano) in the confederate army.

The 14'th TX Cavalry Battalion, which had been known as "Duff's Partisan Raiders," was recruited by a wealthy, ruthless slaveholder from San Antonio named James Duff. The battalion, and later the regiment, fought a vicious cross-border war with Mexican irregular forces and Union sympathizers along the Rio Grande. On August 10, 1862, before Sloan enlisted, the 14'th TX Cavalry Battalion intercepted a group of pro-Union German immigrants fleeing out of the Hill Country of Central Texas. These settlers found slavery morally repugnant, opposed secession, and had refused to take loyalty oaths to the confederacy. They were attacked on the west bank of the Nueces River before they could escape to Mexico. Most of the immigrants perished at, or soon after what most historians refer to as the "Nueces Massacre.":

http://civilwartalk.com/threads/texas-unionists.25410/#post-315448

The 33rd TX Cav performed a more honorable service for the Confederacy by enabling the sale of some cotton in Mexico, raising badly needed foreign exchange. They fought at the battles of Zacate Creek, Laredo, and Palmito Ranch, they were never defeated in battle, and were one of the last rebel units to lay down their arms.
 

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robert jeansonne

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Well Clint, I guess we're the only two who appreciate a watch's ancestry; I'm not for sure there is a whole lot of interest on this board for show and tell of "presentation" watches.....I thought we would see a few other's that were hiding out, but I guess not. I have several Howard and Waltham civil war era watches, but they just aren't the same. Just another watch from that era with no story to tell. Oh well........
 

Keith R...

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Clint, your first watch is a great read for ACW collectors. It appears to be a 3 ounce coin
case with excellent engine turning. It's interesting to note one would purchase their
movement and select the case of choice. I say this as I enjoy this style of hunting case,
with almost the English look as one observes the pendant. So obviously young Sloan's
father had excellent taste.

Robert, there are many presentation owners out there, will they post? Hard to say.
As a Howard, Waltham & English owner of Civil War Era watches, I must say they are
the same. However having provenance would enhance their credibility and value by
virtue of substantiated documentation such as Clint's. The thrill exist for all who collect
these ACW time pieces.

Thanks for sharing. Keith
 
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Clint Geller

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Clint, your first watch is a great read for ACW collectors. It appears to be a 3 ounce coin
case with excellent engine turning. It's interesting to note one would purchase their
movement and select the case of choice. I say this as I enjoy this style of hunting case,
with almost the English look as one observes the pendant. So obviously young Sloan's
father had excellent taste.

Robert, there are many presentation owners out there, will they post? Hard to say.
As a Howard, Waltham & English owner of Civil War Era watches, I must say they are
the same. However having provenance would enhance their credibility and value by
virtue of substantiated documentation such as Clint's. The thrill exist for all who collect
these ACW time pieces.

Thanks for sharing. Keith
Thanks, Keith. I don't think the case is quite 3 ounces though. It's well preserved, but it's fairly light.
 

Clint Geller

Gibbs Literary Award
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Well Clint, I guess we're the only two who appreciate a watch's ancestry; I'm not for sure there is a whole lot of interest on this board for show and tell of "presentation" watches.....I thought we would see a few other's that were hiding out, but I guess not. I have several Howard and Waltham civil war era watches, but they just aren't the same. Just another watch from that era with no story to tell. Oh well........
Robert, these watches are all more significant as Civil War artifacts than they are as horological items, per se. I find that an interesting provenance, whether Civil War or otherwise, adds another crucial dimension to a timepiece that I am finding more and more essential to my own personal satisfaction. Researching provenances is tremendous fun.

I have posted my watches on the American Civil War Forums website and got a much bigger reaction there. There are dedicated CW artifact and relic collectors who hang out there, but also quite a few professional historians and book authors. I find the debates there very stimulating, and I have learned a lot from them. In about six months, I have amassed nearly as many posts there as I have here. I heartily recommend the site to anyone with a serious interest in the military and political history of the Civil War, secession, and the Reconstruction period.
 
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