Museum Monday 3/4/13: Major General Henry W. Halleck’s Pocket Watch

Hi, this is Greg Goodell, and welcome again
to another Museum Monday. We have a very interesting artifact out to show you today, it’s a pocket
watch. What makes this pocket watch kind of unique is its provenance and that provenance
is to Major General Henry W. Halleck, a very well known Civil War General to many Civil
War era students and scholars, not so well known for his combat role, or his role in
leading armies in the field, but well known for his role as the Army Chief of Staff in
Washington. General Halleck through much of the Civil War was the organizational brains
and brawn behind running the Union war effort and Lincoln’s principal adviser on military
issues. This is actually a watch that was given to General Halleck by his staff in the
immediate post-Civil War era. It’s actually from 1867. We’re showing here the inscription
which says, “To Major General Henry W. Halleck by staff officers, December 25, 1867,” so,
again, it was a Christmas present. It is a coin silver pocket watch, which is just a
lower grade silver that was commonly used during the nineteenth century. Here is the
face of the watch, very simplistic, not very intricate there; what is most unique and what
is most captivating about this piece is, of course, the inscription to General Halleck
from his staff. Thanks again for stopping by and we’ll see you next Monday.

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