This Civil War presentation cane is inscribed "Presented to/NICHOLAS GREUSEL/Col. 36th Ill. Vols./from the SURVIVING MEMBERS of his/OLD REGIMENT/at their reunion Aurora, Ill./Sep. 23rd 1875." Nicholas Greusel (1817-1896) emigrated from the Kingdom of Bavaria to the United States as a teenager. He moved to Detroit, serving as a politician for two years, and leading a company of Michigan volunteers during the Mexican-American War, eventually moving to Illinois. With the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, Greusel was leading a company of militia in Aurora, Illinois, but was soon appointed colonel of the "Fox River Regiment" by the governor, which later become the 36th Illinois Infantry. Greusel and the 36th Illinois served most of their time in the western theater of the war, taking part in the battles of Pea Ridge, Perryville, the Siege of Corinth, and Stone's River before Greusel resigned his commission on 7 February 1863. The 36th went on to take part in the battles of Chickamauga, Chattanooga, Resaca, Pine Hill, Kenesaw, Peach Tree Creek, Spring Hill, Franklin, and Nashville. By the time the regiment was discharged in Springfield, Illinois on 27 October 1865 they had lost 11 officers and 193 enlisted men killed in action, and one officer and 127 enlisted men to disease. Apart from the inscription, the gilt knob shaped grip has floral scroll engraving and inscriptions of some of the previously mentioned battles in alternating side facets. It is joined to a smooth shaft that may be ebony and is tipped with brass. It measures 37 inches overall.
Very good overall, the grip showing most of the bright gilt finish with some scattered minor dings and dents, and the shaft having some scattered light handling marks and scuffs. An interesting piece of history from the Western Theater of the Civil War!
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