Auctioned Possessions

53743x6In 2014, the auction house of James  D. Julia advertised the sale of Capt. Lot Abraham’s military possessions. The description of the archive follows:

This is a wonderful archive that had great meaning to the Greene Museum as Capt. Abraham commanded the 4th Iowa fully a week after Lee’s surrender to capture Columbus, GA on the exact site of the Greene Museum. This lot includes his Spencer carbine, his Cavalry Officer’s saber, many photographs and personal items. Lot Abraham, Co. D, 4th Iowa Cavalry was a veteran of many campaigns coming into the last Union victory of the war in Georgia & Alabama. He originally entered service in Sept of 1861 as a Sergeant, he was promoted to Lt. July 1, 1862 and finally to Capt. in January, 1863. He was frequently in command of his battalion and often his regiment. According to the official records Abraham was recommended for brevet promotion for gallantry at Selma, AL and Columbus, GA by his commanding officer.

Included in this grouping is his Spencer carbine which was unusual for officers to carry but many western Cavalry officers were known to fight along side their men with carbines. This is an early manufactured carbine SN 28591 in fine “as found” condition.



His Cavalry Officers saber is made by Sauerbier of Newark, NJ and has distinct features of this manufacturer including spanner nut pommel attachment and pen knife type blade with unstopped fuller often confused as Confederate manufacture. Blade exhibits 20″ etched patriotic panels on either side. This higher grade sword has shark skin grip wrap, decorated hilt and relief mounted scabbard. His belt plate which is a standard Model 1851 with eagle has his initials and unit scratched onto hook in back.



There is a fine 4-stage field telescope which measures about 17″ extended with a 1-1/4″ main lens in excellent condition retaining its orig leather cover, both lens protectors and tarred canvas case. Optics are excellent. Also in this group is a silver pocket watch, pocket knife, two razors, a cased writing pen with mother of pearl tip and gilded brass body with a gold nib along with another portion of a pen with same mother of pearl end and letter written by Abraham on Christmas Eve, 1862 on patriotic stationary.

There are two tin types of Abraham in uniform, one as Capt. and another in a different uniform either as Capt. or Lt. There are several photos of Lot postwar wearing reunion & GAR badges. There is a folding carved bone comb, a small carved 3-bladed folding ivory toothpick.


There is a 1-1/2″ dia compass, an enlisted US belt buckle that appears like an early battlefield pickup, possibly found by Abraham at a reunion on a visited battlefield. There are two orig Spencer cartridges and misc. post-war photographs of him and his family along with other family members.

Abraham’s family donated most of Lot Abraham’s wartime letters, diaries and documents to the University of Iowa Library in 1962. This wonderful, historical archive of a hard fighting Union Cavalryman in the western theatre of war will probably never be duplicated. Abraham’s diary accounts of these last battles should be read.

PROVENANCE: Lot Abraham (1838-1920). John Gilbert Abraham (1866-1944). Fred Barger Abraham (1891-1965). Howard John Abraham (1918-1994). Mrs. Cecil Henrietta Carnahan-Abraham. Greene Museum of Southern History.

CONDITION: Spencer carbine is very good overall appearing “as found” with gray metal, crisp markings good bore with discernible rifling and pitting. Gun is missing blades of rear sight though base still intact. Stocks are sound and solid with a hair line crack extending about 3″ from carbine bar just above a discernible inspector’s cartouche. Stocks exhibit numerous small scratches, dents and dings with hand worn patina. Saber is very good overall. Blade is gray with some areas of orig luster and etched panels are mostly discernible, scattered areas of staining and pitting. A few small nicks in cutting edge from use. Scabbard is sound and solid. Iron body retains traces of org finish with pitting. Brass mounts and hilt have rich red/chocolate colored patina. Sharks skin grip is worn and chipped at high areas thought mostly intact with orig twisted brass wire. Top ring mount is worn through and two later sword belt straps have been added for display purposes. Other items in this grouping are very good to fine as described. 4-53743 JS300 (10,000-20,000)

Abraham Provenance related to auction.

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