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Reference Items
California In The Civil War
Slouch Hat - Captain Rufus W. Smith

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Cavalry Officer’s slouch hat identified to Capt. Rufus W. Smith, a member of the California Battalion who fought under the flag of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry during the Civil War. The 2nd Mass. was active in pursuit of John Mosby throughout the hills of Virginia and eventually saw much action in the Eastern Theatre. This slouch hat is in fine condition with minor mothing on crown. The felt is thick and supple with wide red Russian leather interior band, brittle but original to the hat. Black cotton cockade fastener to ostrich plume with woven acorns on hat chord. Cavalry insignia sewn on front with silver "2" for 2nd Mass. Identified with period ink on inside of band, to Capt. R.W.Smith, being Rufus W. Smith whose military records accompany the hat.

Captain Smith was mortally wounded leading his cavalry company on a charge at Cedar Creek, Va. in 1864 at the approximate age of 30. Originally from Maine, Smith was a member of the California Light Guard when in San Francisco, and resigned to join Captain Eigenbrodt's Company E of the California Battalion. After the death of J. Sewall Reed, founding officer and captain of the storied Cal 100, Captain Smith was appointed to succeed Reed. Captain Smith was mortally wounded during a saber charge against Confederate infantry at Cedar Creek, Virginia on October 19, 1864. For more information on the Californians in the war, visit the excellent website hosted by Earl Robinson at

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-122

Inscribed Colt Army revolver - Nate Fogg, 2nd Mass

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.44 cal Colt Army pistol with a silver escutcheon in the left grip, in fine original condition. Its original wood grips retain the inspector's cartouche and a silver escutcheon with the inscribed name "Nate Fogg".  

Nate Fogg enlisted from California, with Company L of the Cal Battalion, who eventually fought under the flag of the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry.   The troopers in the 2nd Mass Cav were primarily issued .44 caliber Colts as their service pistol.  Corporal Fogg was wounded in a fight with Mosby's rangers at Mount Zion Church, near Aldie, Virginia on July 6, 1864. He recovered from his wounds and returned to the regiment, witnessing the conclusion of the Civil War at Appomattox Court House. At war's end, government muster records indicate that Corporal Fogg purchased his Colt revolver and saber from the army for $11.00, keeping them, no doubt, as mementos of his wartime service. In the ensuing years, Fogg never returned to California, but worked as a carpenter and with electricity in Indiana, Ohio and Massachusetts. He finally settled in Florida and ran a large fruit growing operation until his death in 1916.

Member - Mike Sorenson
Item #: CIV-106

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