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GETTYSBURG COMMEMORATIVE PRESENTATION CANE WITH ENGRAVED PLAQUE DETAILING GIFT BETWEEN TWO CIVIL WAR VETERANS:  This unique handmade cane was made and presented by one Civil War veteran to another Civil War veteran and this one of a kind gift is documented on the engraved plaque mounted on the cane.  The inscription on the plaque reads: 

On Gettysberg Bloody Field, 40 yrs after the Battle

Battle Fought July 1st 2nd & 3d, 1863.  Union Loss 23000

Confederate Loss 38000.  Cane made and presented by

J. M. Fortney to D. M. Delp 

A check of the National Park Service Civil War Soldiers Listings show a Pvt. John M. Fortney who served in Company G, 12th West Virginia Infantry Regiment and a Pvt. David M. Delp who served in Company A, 1st Regiment of the Pennsylvania Provisional Cavalry which apparently later became the 20th Regiment of the Pennsylvania Cavalry.  I haven’t researched the histories of these men in detail, and will leave what could be an interesting research project for the new owner to pursue.  The information on the engraved plaque indicates that the cane was made and presented in 1903, quite probably at one of the reunions held at Gettysburg on the 40th anniversary of the battle. 

The cane measures 33 ¼” in overall length.  The tapered body of the cane is fashioned from oak and is square in the cross section, 1” square at the top and tapering down to ½” square at the bottom.  The top of the cane features an offset carved area surmounted by a copper knob 1½” in diameter that is decorated with a pleasant floral pattern.  The hand engraved plaque is made of aluminum, considered at the time to be a semi-precious metal, and is attached to the cane with six small screws.  There is a ½” hole drilled through the cane that would have held a dowel that passed behind the plaque and would extend on each side of the cane from which a small U.S. Flag would be suspended on one side and a small Confederate Flag on the other – a feature common to these canes commemorating the Civil War and carried by the veterans at reunions.  The tip of the cane is protected by a metal ferrule that appears to be made of nickel plated brass.  The cane is definitely hand fashioned, showing tool marks at the points of carving and shaping. The cane is in very good condition, showing some use as one would expect.  The hand knob has a shallow dent in the top flat and there is an age crack in the wood on the side opposite the plaque, but it is stable and does not affect the integrity of the strength of the cane.  The wood still retains the majority of its original varnish finish.   

This is a very nice Civil War Veteran item, with value added historic association to the Battle of Gettysburg and more importantly a timeless tribute to the friendship between two identified Civil War Veterans.  Such Civil War Veteran items with all the “bells and whistles” are scarce indeed.  SOLD   


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