Item #45596 Manuscript Document Signed by Five Civil War Officers Concerning Chorman's Mounted Rifle Rangers. Civil War. Pennsylvania Cavalry, Ernest G. Chormann.

Manuscript Document Signed by Five Civil War Officers Concerning Chorman's Mounted Rifle Rangers.

n.p. [1861]. [1] sheet. 7.75 x 4.5 inches. Very good, folded, edge worn, light soiling and ink staining, Item #45596

Signed by Ernest G. Chormann, Brig. Gen. Fitz John Porter, Col. William Woods Averell, Chief of ordnance Charles P. Kingsbury, and Assistant Adjutant-General Andrew J. Alexander (for Gen. George Stoneman), with the note "approved" by three signatures. Though undated, it was likely signed between September 1861 and January 17, 1862, based on the service records of those who signed it.

1. Ernest G. Chormann in 1861 recruited a volunteer regiment called "Chorman’s Independent Mounted Rifle Rangers" in Philadelphia. (See Library Company of Philadelphia for the broadside). The first company of this regiment was mustered into service July 23, 1861, and the last was mustered Sept. 15th, 1861. The regiment was then under the command of Col. E. G. Chormann. It was numbered the 89th of the line and the 8th Cavalry and left Pennsylvania for Washington on Oct. 4, where it was brigaded with the 3rd Pa. cavalry, thus putting Chormann under the command of William Woods Averell, who in turn was under the command of Brigadier General Fitz John Porter. On Nov. 9, 1861 the New York Times reported "The Eighth Pennsylvania Cavalry, Col. Chormann, has been brigaded with the Third, from the same State. The brigade is commanded by Col. W.W. Averell, of the latter regiment. Both are rapidly improving in efficiency and drill." But on Nov. 27, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported that "The statement that charges have been filed against Col. Chormann, is said to be erroneous. The Colonel is laboring energetically to ensure the perfection of drill desireable in all well disciplined regiments." By January 17, 1862 Chormann had resigned his commission, to be replaced by Capt. David Gregg, of the 6th U. S. cavalry, an experienced officer and a graduate of West Point. Chormann had endorsed Merrill’s Patent Breech-Loading Carbine on September 19th, 1861, his letter to General J. W. Ripley, Chief of Ordnance, Washington, D. C. soon appearing in an advertisement for the weapons, but so had many other officers. Thus both the reason for his resignation and the purpose of this document remain unknown.

Little is known about Ernest G., Chormann, other than in his autobiography below, and for his filing of numerous patents. He was an inventor, and also active as an artist between 1853-1880 (See Frick Museum Art Reference Library). In 1852 he exhibited saddle patterns at the Twenty-second Exhibition of American Manufactures at the Franklin Institute; in 1861, listed as an engraver and die sinker, he bid on a $2500 contract with the U.S. Government for coin designs as part of ongoing experiments into how to prevent “abrasion, counterfeiting, and deterioration of the coins of the United States; ” he was hired as the engraver; he filed for optical and mechanical patents; in 1880 he painted "Letitia Street House, 1880" now at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania's Rangers' War song: "Up ! up ! with our flag , let its bright stars gleam out" was dedicated to him.

The Pennsylvania Historical Review (1886) lists his firm, Chormann & Mitchell, as "inventors and patentees of the specialties manufactured. They manufacture all kinds of art furniture, including parlor easels, novel and chaste in design, labor- saving studio easels, sketching easels, artists’ kits, etc., together with interior decorations.... the studio easel being awarded the first premium and diploma at the Centennial Exposition of 1876."

Chormann adds his somewhat rather fanciful biography:

"Mr. Chormann, the founder of this business, was born in France. Early in life he was noted for his energy, talent and determination, and visited as an explorer and traveller nearly every country in the civilized world. In 1836 he was a colonel in the San Jacinto war, where he manifested great courage and prudence, and on its termination made an effort to explore almost alone the sources of the Nile. Eventually, after exploring various portions of Australia, New Mexico, Arizona and Lower California, and undergoing great hardships and dangers from climate and Indians, he was appointed on his arrival in Texas in 1845 captain and superintendent of the Texan Rangers. He was actively engaged in 1847 and 1848 in the Mexican war, where his distinguished military ability was of great service to the United States. During his explorations and travels in the West he was associated with those famous old Indian fighters, namely, De Soto and California Joe. Mr. Chormann was the first white man who explored the Western portion of the Colorado River, the whole of the country at that period, 1843 watered by this stream being inhabited by tribes of Indians of the most cruel and treacherous nature. Colonel Chormann organized the first regiment that served during the war, and which was known as Chormann’s Mounted Rangers. On the 14th April, 1861, immediately after the bombardment of Fort Sumpter, he began recruiting, and put 5000 men in the field. In 1865 he brought East the first specimen of the moss agate. In a few months Mr. Chormann intends to publish a work on Colorado and the West, illustrated with splendid engravings, which will prove of the greatest interest to all lovers of nature. He was the inventor of stylograph printing, and is noted in scientific and artistic circles for his inflexible integrity and sterling ability."

2. Fitz John Porter (1822-1901) Civil War Union Major General, West Point 1845, served in the Mexican–American War, promoted to brigadier general of volunteers in 1861 and divisional commander in the newly formed Army of the Potomac under Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan who was soon is patron. On November 25, 1862, Porter was arrested and court-martialed for his actions at Second Bull Run after McClellan was dismissed by Lincoln. He spent the next 16 years trying clear his name and record, which he finally did in 1878.

3. William Woods Averell (1832-1900) Civil War Union Brigadier General, West Point, 1855, 2nd Lieutenant assigned to the United States Army Mounted Rifles, and served in the Indian Wars on the Western frontier, severely wounded in a fight with Navajos in 1859 became a 1st Lieutenant with the Mounted Riflemen and was placed on staff duty in Washington, D.C. In August, 1861, he was appointed as Colonel of the 3rd Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry and soon became a Brigadier General.

4. Andrew Jonathan Alexander (1833-1887), Civil War Union Brevet Brigadier General, served first as a Captain in the 3rd United States Regular Cavalry, then as Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General on the staff of Union General George Stoneman.

5. Charles Peeble Kingsbury (1816-1879), graduated from West Point in 1840 (2nd in a class of 42), served in the Mexican War as General Wolf's ordnance officer and on General Taylor’s staff, wrote, 'Elementary Treatise on Artillery and Infantry' (1849), and was a contributor to the American Whig Review, Western Quarterly Review, Putnam’s Monthly, and the Southern Literary Messenger from 1840-67, was superintendent of the Armory at Harper's ferry, and Chief of Ordnance for the Army of the Potomac August 12, 1861 to July 1862, promoted to Colonel and aide-decamp September 28, 1861.

Price: $475.00