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Thread: Col. Frederick S. Bass, 1st Texas Infantry

  1. #1

    Default Col. Frederick S. Bass, 1st Texas Infantry

    Hallo!

    Things have been slow, so let's talk controversy, er, discuss!

    Colonel Frederick S. Bass was originally the Captain of Company "E," of the 1st Texas Infantry. He was promoted Major October 18, 1861, and assigned to Regimental Headquarters. He was promoted Lt. Col. in the Spring of 1864. He was promoted Colonel in the Summer of 1864, and was given command of "Hood's Texas Brigade" as the senior colonel when Brig. General John Gregg was killed at Darbeytown Road on October 7, 1864 Bass was bumped back down when more senior Colonel Robert Powell rejoined the regiment after his release from Federal POW camp in February 1865- his having been wounded and captured on July 2, 1863 at Gettysburg.
    Somewhere after that, Bass was promoted to Brigadier General but apparently was never told. He was paroled at Appomattox on April 12, 1865.
    Bass died at the Texas Confederate Home in Austin on July 9, 1897 and was buried in the State Cemtery there.

    This set is attributed to Bass.

    Let's start out with getting the negatives aside:

    1. That provenance is wrong.
    2. That this is something Bass "assembled" after the War.
    3. That is something a dealer or collector assembled from pieces/parts after the War.

    Here goes...









    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Columbus, OH
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    3,393

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    If it's a real set, it gives the lie to the idea of "no spare cylinders" for pistol packers, at least for this infantry officer.
    Bernard Biederman
    30th OVI
    Co. B

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Posts
    1,134

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    I'm confused. When you write...

    1. That provenance is wrong.
    2. That this is something Bass "assembled" after the War.
    3. That is something a dealer or collector assembled from pieces/parts after the War.

    Is there any doubt or proof for your concerns? Is the provenance in question by anyone? Why assume it is if you have no proof at all that there is?

    WTH
    The Confused Boys mess
    Yuma gonna luv it

  4. #4

    Default

    Hallo!

    When I wrote:

    "This set is attributed to Bass.

    Let's start out with getting the negatives aside:

    1. That provenance is wrong.
    2. That this is something Bass "assembled" after the War.
    3. That is something a dealer or collector assembled from pieces/parts after the War."


    it was to say just that, starting with the the possibility of the glass being half empty rather than half full...

    IMHO, we have a collection of images with only the owner's/seller's statement of provenance. No "evidence trail." No "chain of custody." No history. No story of any kind.
    IMHO, we have an assemblage of artifacts with inconsistent age and patina for items to have been contemporary with or to each other.
    IMHO, we have a somewhat untypical and somewhat inconsistent attribution to an brigade commanding infantry colonel that gives the appearance that he was well concerned for his own personal safety and offensive potential.

    Sure, could have been. May well possibly have been. Is. The glass half full is that everything is as presented and asserted.

    But, IMHO still, from the POV of say as a potential buyer, in the absence of provenence, I would not buy without some research and documentation as to its history and chain of custody.

    Others mileage, and views of how they would spend their money for the satisfaction returned, will vary...

    CHS
    In gleichem Schritt und Tritt, Curt Schmidt

    Not a real Civil War reenactor, I only portray one on boards and fora.
    I do not portray a Civil War soldier, I merely interpret one.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Jamestown, NC
    Posts
    96

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    Curt: Plus, that's a lot of gear for one person to be toting around on that narrow belt without the buckle loops being distended. And for a Colonel at that! This looks to be "too good." All that's missing is a ticket stub to a Texas Longhorns game. Bob

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Posts
    136

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    Would this be the same belt on which he hung his sword? If so, is there any evidence of it? If not, did he wear two belts in battle?

    Phil McBride
    The Alamo Rifles

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    1,134

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    Hang his sword? You assume he bothered with one? They didn't all insist on having swords, you know?

    I am finding the wild speculation here absurd. Research the guy first. Maybe there is an eyewitness account of him? Maybe there is more info on the rig itself from the family? We have nothing but a couple of pictures here and people are building an entire set of probabilities on practically nothing.

    I mean, "narrow belt"? Come on. That belt is as wide as any. Further it would have been heavier and studier 145 friggin years ago, ya know?

    The problem here is that we have nothing at all to go on.

    If I were a buyer I would not accept the claim that this IS the rig as worn in the war necessarily and the price should reflect that. Short of some photo of the Col. wearing it or some written account of his rig or other family info I'd not accept it at the say-so of a seller. On the other hand there is no reason to insist it isn't "right" based on just these photos. The leather work and construction all looks to fit the same era. at least. The wear is similar. There is nothing there that screams fake necessarily.

    What was the guy's pre war history? West Point? Western pioneer? Did he have military experience pre-war? Yes, no?

    There simply isn't enough info here to make an informed opinion on anything with this other than to say that all the items in the photo are likely contemporary one to the other. That's it.

    WTH
    The ColdWater mess
    Yuma gonna luv it

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Tuskaloosa, Alabama
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    Okay, because this board is 'built with the beginner in mind', please color with bigger crayons here

    What kind of pistol is that?

    What's the proper name for that style of knife?

    Does that buckle predate the War?

    I seem to see a top on the knife scabbard. Is that right?

    I see a box with a tin in it and an extra cylinder in that box. What would normally be in that box?

    What's the other container on the belt?

    Doesnot hang around with soldiers Mess.
    Mrs. Lawson
    Weaver, Spinster, Strong Fast Dyes
    Knitted Goods and yarns available thlawson@bellsouth.net



    Moderator, When I remember. We got Rules here!

    Did your sales post disappear? Try again. But read the rules first.
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  9. #9

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Spinster View Post
    Okay, because this board is 'built with the beginner in mind', please color with bigger crayons here

    What kind of pistol is that?

    What's the proper name for that style of knife?

    Does that buckle predate the War?

    I seem to see a top on the knife scabbard. Is that right?

    I see a box with a tin in it and an extra cylinder in that box. What would normally be in that box?

    What's the other container on the belt?

    Doesnot hang around with soldiers Mess.
    OK - this seems about my speed. The pistol is an 1851 Colt Navy Revolver. It was a very common pistol, and this one certainly looks period. But they were made for years and years and there are lots of them around. I'm suspicious of the scratched name in the backstrap. It looks uncharacteristically crude compared to other period pieces I've seen, and in an awkward location. (It has the look of something a reenactor might do.) The knife is an almost perfect example of the "Bowie knife" famous on the frontier after Jim Bowie "The Braggart" was given one by his brother. (The knife he used in the famous fight was a sharpened file.) The blade looks heavily pitted, lie it was poorly cared for. The handle is staghorn. It looks good, maybe too good. Bowie knives were a fad, and any big knife was called a Bowie. The knob on the top of the handle looks suspicious. Again, it has a reproduction kind of look to it. I'm not really up on pistol belt boxes, but there is no written evidence that soldiers (or civilians for that matter) carried multiple cylinders. They just carried extra pistols. Jesse James had 4 on his belt the day he died. With no solid provenance (a letter, a photo, an inventory of some sort) I'm suspicious that this group was assembled from authentic pieces and reproduction pieces after the war. (It doesn't take long for leather to degrade under bad conditions. Leather goods made in the 1970s could look that bad by now.)
    Rob Weaver
    Pine River Boys, Co I, 7th Wisconsin
    "We're... Christians, what read the Bible and foller what it says about lovin' your enemies and carin' for them what despitefully use you -- that is, after you've downed 'em good and hard."
    -Si Klegg and His Pard Shorty

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Posts
    20

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    Does the tin containing the extra cylinder look really shiny for something that is nearly 150 years old?

    Finally, is the top of the knife bone? I'm curious how common bone handles were to wood handles for knives.

    The pistol, holster, and spare cylinder seem to be things an officer might carry, but I don't see why an officer would carry a knife. Maybe this is the one case that an officer did carry a knife.

    Peter

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