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  • Original Oil Painting of Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Wagner

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    Original Oil Painting of Confederate Lieutenant Colonel Thomas M. Wagner - Inventory Number: CON 369

    Lieut. Col. Thomas M. Wagner (1825- 1862) for whom “Fort Wagner” was named. Wagner was a native Charlestonian, a former state senator, and a railroad executive. He entered state service as a Lieutenant in the 1st SC Artillery Battalion in 1860 and was promoted to Captain in April 1861. That fall, he was appointed Major and commanding officer of the Battalion. He served as commander of Fort Moultrie and Fort Sumter at different periods.

    In March 1862, the Battalion was increased to a Regiment, and Wagner was appointed as its Lt. Colonel. His duties were greatly expanded the following June when he was named Chief of Ord-nance in the South Carolina and Georgia Department. Additionally, he received orders to erect a battery at Cummings Point on the northern tip of Morris Island. Wagner’s planning and supervision resulted in a superbly placed and well-designed emplacement.

    However, while at Fort Moultrie in July “Battery Wagner,” 1862, Wagner was killed in a tragic accident buried in the St. Michaels Church Cemetery. Shortly afterward, another recently finished battery on Morris Island was named Battery Wagner in his honor. Finally, in early 1863, the Cummings Point position was named Battery Gregg in honor of South Carolina’s General Maxcy Gregg, who fell at Fredericksburg.

    Wagner’s reputation remained strong after his death. Following the defeat of the Union ironclads in April 1863, Wagner’s work in strengthening defenses of Fort Moultrie and Battery Gregg was cited for their ability to withstand shelling from the enemy’s substantial naval guns without great harm.

    This well-executed original oil painting on metal measures 21 x 15 ½” (frame), 18 ¾” 13 ½” (painting). Painting replicates a known image of Wagner and depicts him in in his Confederate uniform with sash and two-piece interlocking belt with officer’s sword.  His collar rank is clearly visible as are shoulder insignia.  A wonderful Confederate oil painting!

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    Inventory Number: CON 369