Crouse was the youngest colonel in New York during the Civil War. Presentation sword, 2 frock coats, rare blanket roll harness, more.
Charles Beecher Crouse, born at Canastota, New York was born in March of 1839. He was working with at his father’s business in Utica, New York in the wholesale grocery business, when he decided to take a commission in the 105th N.Y. National Guard in 1863, and in the following year became the colonel of that regiment. He was the youngest officer holding that rank in the service. His commission date was January 5, 1864, and remained the commanding officer of that regiment until the state mustered out the NGNY to 30,000 strong, and Crouse was effectively mustered out on June 5, 1868. The state list for colonels alone amounted to over 50.
After the war, and while in the National Guard, Colonel Crouse continued to work for his father, and became a partner in 1876 of ” Daniel Crouse & Sons.” Besides the grocery business, Crouse was presient of the Canastota National Bank, Police and Fire Commissioner of Utica, director of the National Bank of Utica. He held membership in various fraternal and other organizations such as the Masons, Oneida County Historical Society, Utica Art Association, and the Fort Schuyler Club. He was married in 1860 to Florence Anderson; they had two children. Colonel Crouse passed away on March 25, 1903.
My description is somewhat brief, as this grouping is going with me to the Gettysburg show, June 25-27, and I have not had the time to prepare a better description. I have taken a number of good photos, and will give some account of the material contained here. The grouping is for sale on line or at the show.
The uniform frock coats , and vest are all wartime produced. All of the items are original to the grouping with the exception of the bullion captain shoulder straps which I purchased to go with the lot. They have been quickly sewn on for show and can be removed easily, or redone in a lasting way; at the discretion of the buyer. There were on straps on the frock when I purchased it, only the ghost image of straps was present.
The fine quality sword belt, with shoulder strap (and snap swivel attachment to belt ring) was cut for some reason, and has been repaired. The sword sash is in fine condition, with great color. On the shoulder of the captain’s frock is a blanket roll harness as seen in the Schuyler, Hartley & Graham catalog for 1864. This is a rare piece of equipment, and rarely seen on the market for sale, and in super condition.
Crouse’s presentation 1850 Foot Officer’s sword was made by C. Roby & Co., West Chelmsford, Massachusetts, with that companies name etched at the left side of the blade at the ricasso. The pattern on both sides is floral in nature, with U.S. and federal eagle on both sides of the blade, and the presentation on the left. It reads, “Presented to Capt. C.B. Crouse by his Mother.” The blade retains nearly all the bright polish and frosty etching. Gilt overall is 75%. Sharkskin and triple wrapped grip wire are fine, with some fading of the sharkskin, All the brass furniture has been chased, showing more work than a normal foot sword. The upper ring mount, shows a Zouave with musket in a camp scene. The scabbard when found was in two sections, and has been professionally restored.
Also included are his bullion cap insignias; infantry horn with “105” at center of infantry horn, and the Hardee hat eagle, both in fine + condition. There are two key plates from his service trunks, each with key hole covers; one stamped “U.S.” and the other a panoply of arms.
Despite Colonel Crouse’s lack of combat during the war, he did enlist at mid war, and continued to serve five years in the state guard. Considering this fact, the lot is priced fairly as if mere components without identification, and the overall fine to excellent condition.
There is a small amount of research material unearthed with the help of a friend, and one original billhead from Crouse’s business dated December 1901.