Civil War Artifacts - Ludlum C. Drake

Last year, the museum received a call from a senior couple in Oregon, David and Joyce Hunsaker. We learned they had possession of a Civil War coat, sword, sash, belt, and medals from a Lenawee County soldier. They wished to learn if we were a legitimate museum, would we have an interest in the items and wanted us to know they would consider presenting them to us at a future date.

Of course, we were interested. After some sharing of information about our museum, they were comfortable with our ability to adequately care for the items. The Antiques Roadshow program was making a visit near their home, and the Civil War items made the show!

The program aired April 17, 2023. From Lenawee County, we watched with great interest, getting our first look at the items, and learning about their history. It was through the Antiques Roadshow appraiser we heard the value of the items to be $10,000 to $12,000.

The Lenawee County soldier was a farmer from Dover Township named Ludlum C. Drake.  He enlisted in 1862, served as a private until mustering out in 1864. In late 1864 he re-enlisted, trained as an officer and joined the U.S. Colored Troops. Union officers over the Colored Troops had to be white.

After an active period of combat in Kentucky, sieges at Petersburg and Richmond, Drake’s combat time concluded before attending the surrender at Appomattox. Drake, having been promoted to Captain, did not get to come home. He and the Colored Troops were sent to Texas to guard the Mexican border. It was feared the French may be joining the Mexicans to capture southwest U.S. territory.

Drake did not make it home until May 1867. He farmed in Dover Township until his death in 1924. He is buried in Hagaman Cemetery on Lyons Highway in Fairfield Township.

The Hunsakers visited our museum in September.  We greatly enjoyed meeting them, thanking them for the wonderful gift to the museum. These items have been suitably placed in an enclosed display case ready for viewing by museum visitors.

Lenawee Historical Society, Inc., is a tax exempt organization under Section 501(C)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
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110 E. Church St., Adrian MI 49221
(517) 265-6071

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