RARE AND IMPORTANT CONFEDERATE OFFICER’S GROUPING BELONGING TO CAPTAIN CHARLES H. DIMMOCK INCLUDING HIS CONFEDERATE ENGINEER’S KEPI
This extensive group belonged to Captain Charles H. Dimmock of the Confederate States Engineer Corps. Dimmock is most famous for designing and implementing the construction of the famed “Dimmock Line”, a long and robust series entrenchments and fortifications that encircled the city of Petersburg, Virginia. Petersburg was a vitally important rail hub for the Confederacy, and a focal point for the transport of desperately needed military supplies for the Confederacy. Dimmock’s diligent work was so appreciated by the citizens of Petersburg that, in 1864, they presented him with a horse accompanied by finely appointed, custom-made English horse tack and a saddle valise. Dimmock’s work was praised by innumerable Confederate Officers, including General William Mahone, famous for retaking the crater after the federal mine explosion on July 30, 1864. Dimmock was instrumental in maintaining the forts and earth works around Petersburg during the 9-month siege. When the city fell, Dimmock retreated with General Lee’s Army and was ultimately paroled at Appomattox on April 10, 1865.
Of the many items included in this lot, the most important is Captain Dimmock’s Officer’s kepi. The kepi is constructed of extremely fine black wool, likely of British manufacture. It measures approximately 3 1/2” in the front, including the roll, and 6 1/4″ in the rear, also including the roll. There are 3 rows of rope-like gold bullion encircling the hat with 2 rows of the same bullion rising at the front, back, and both sides. The crown also has 3 rows of the rope-like gold bullion encircling the top around a central quatrefoil. There is a gold bullion “E” for Engineer round hat insignia that is now detached from the hat, but present, and its ghost may be seen on the front of the hat. This insignia is a great rarity in itself and few, if any, are known to survive. There is no chinstrap or side buttons present. The tarred visor has a bound edge and is sewn to the body of the kepi. The sweatband is fine, red Moroccan leather. The lining of the broadcloth appears to be black polished cotton, and the kepi liner appears to be red and white cotton gingham. The crown has a red stiffener with a paper label attached that reads “W. H. C. LOVITT MANUFACTURER, NORFOLK, VIRGINIA.” Lovitt had a wartime contract with the state of North Carolina to make hats for their troops. The name “C.H. Dimmock” is penned at the top of the label.
Also included in this lot are several other items belonging to Captain Dimmock. They include:
1) Wide, maroon silk Officer’s sash measuring approximately 100”, including the fringe.
2) Housewife in red Moroccan leather with green silk and red leather interior. The housewife contains a few needles and a pin cushion.
3) Small grooming kit in a leather holder containing scissors, a combination toothpick/ear scoop, a combination tweezers/ear scoop, and a nail file with cuticle point. The interior of the flap contains a small mirror.
4) Framed albumen image of Captain Dimmock in his Confederate uniform holding a slouch hat, professionally colored by an accomplished artist. The frame measures 13 3/4″ x 15 3/4″, and the exposed oval image measures 5 1/2″ x 7 1/2″. The back of the image has a Petersburg label from 1863 with the name “Captain Dimmock” from J.R. Rockwell Petersburg, Va. Dimmock mentions the image in a wartime letter to his wife, and notes that his draughtsman tinted the image.
5) Uncolored albumen image of the same pose as above.
6) Wonderful miniature book fashioned from clay taken from the Crater that reads on the spine “GRANT ON MINES. SIC SEMPER TYRANNIS VOL. 1.” On the covers it reads “PETERSBURG JULY 30th 1864” & “EXPLOSIONS PRACTICALLY TREATED BY U.S. GRANT”. On the page edges it reads “MARY M.L. DIMMOCK. CRATER CLAY”.
7) 6 Confederate $1 bills that have been very heavily circulated.
8) Small book titled “AS I LOOK BACK” by Lew Dimmock Harris.
9) Dimmock family bible.
10) Small red leather and red silk wallet.
11) Oval photograph, presumed to be Mrs. Dimmock.
12) Appointment certificate naming Dimmock Captain of Engineers. Appointment is signed by Confederate Cabinet officer Judah Benjamin.
13) Official Confederate States Engineer Bureau envelope with stamp addressed to Captain Dimmock.
14) Blank Oath of Allegiance to the Confederate States of America.
15) Handwritten official report from Major General William Mahone with envelope postmarked “Richmond”.
16) Several letters, both private and professional, from Dimmock and to Dimmock, discussing war matters.
17) Variety of handwritten poems by Dimmock.
18) Complete map of Hollywood Cemetery.
19) Hand composed musical work by Dimmock.
20) Pamphlet titled “THE MODERN A FRAGMENT.” By Charles H. Dimmock published in Richmond in 1866.
21) Stock certificate to the Literary and Social Society of Richmond for 5 shares at $25 per share.
22) CDV of Robert E. Lee by Jones and Vanerson of Richmond.
23) Printed CDV of Jeb Stewart with no back mark.
24) 3 Post-war CDVs of Charles Dimmock with Richmond and Baltimore back marks.
25) 3 CDVs depicting Dimmock’s wife and children.
26) $1,120 promissory note from Dimmock dated 1866.
27) 2 Deeds from Charles Dimmock for Richmond property.
28) Receipt for purchases by Captain Charles Dimmock.
29) Receipt for a stove, along with several other receipts from the Richmond area.
30) British saddle valise given to Capt. Dimmock by the grateful citizens of Petersburg, VA.
31) Variety of other papers relating to Captain Charles Dimmock and the Dimmock family, along with related newspaper clippings.
UNATTACHED ACCESSORIES: a looseleaf binder with photocopied information on Captain Charles Dimmock, his family, and his service to the Confederacy.