Civil War Horology

New Book on the Way:

My new non-fiction book, The Appreciation and Authentication of Civil War Timepieces, has been peer reviewed and will be published by the NAWCC this Spring.  Once again, I will be using Saul Bottcher and for assistance with production. The book discusses the types of watches that saw service during the American Civil War, and the prevalence of watches in the war, with an emphasis on watches (mostly American, and mostly on the Union side) that are identified to specific Civil War combatants.

The book is an ambitious undertaking that covers not only the watches themselves, but the interactions between American watchmaking and the occurrence and conduct of the war.  Several examples are shown and discussed of Civil War timepieces, both foreign and domestic, with specific Civil War provenances.  I cover the histories of the owners and the units in which they served, and present their often inspiring stories to a whole new generation of readers .

New NAWCC Bulletin Article:

Later the same Spring, my article entitled “Watch Presented to Brigadier General William Jackson Palmer by the Officers of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry,” will be published in the NAWCC BULLETIN.  The article, which is being timed to appear just before the special exhibit of civil war watches I am guest curating, “Timeless Testaments: Civil War Watches and the Men who Carried them,” opens at the NAWCC Museum in Columbia PA on July 6, 2019.

Here is a the first paragraph of the article to whet your appetite:

The pursuit of horological artifacts with special connections to events in the broader stream of history adds extra dimensions to the watch collecting pastime.  If one is fortunate, one may have the opportunity to acquire a timepiece with a provenance touching upon several different important strands of history.  The gold Waltham watch shown in Figures 1 through 4, a piece of history in itself, intersects at least three major historical strands besides horology: American Civil War history; North American railroad history; and the history of the American West. The timepiece was presented three years after the war to retired Brigadier General William Jackson Palmer by the officers of the outstanding regiment he had led through most of the conflict, the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry.  General Palmer’s watch will be on display at the NAWCC Museum in Columbia, PA, as part of a special six month exhibit of Civil War timepieces, entitled, “Timeless Testaments: Civil War Watches and the Men who Carried Them.”  The exhibit will open on Saturday, July 6, 2019, three days after the anniversary of the end of the Battle of Gettysburg, which took place only forty miles away.

Past Presentations:

Please enjoy this two-part presentation, which is an expanded version of a live presentation I gave at the 2015 NAWCC Regional meeting in Lexington, KY:

Collecting Civil War Watches – Live Version – Part 1 (PDF)

Collecting Civil War Watches – Live Version – Part 2 (PDF)

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