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Carte View Major Thomas P. Ochiltree 5th Texas Infantry

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Item No. CV286779 Category


With a number of political positions under his belt and former service as a Texas Ranger, Ochiltree was well suited for an officer’s position in the Confederate Army. He would initially enlist as a 1st sergeant in the 5th Texas Infantry as part of Hood’s Brigade at the onset of the war. Promotions were quick to follow. Lieutenant, captain and then to major of the adjutant-generals department. During the Battle of Valverde, Ochiltree was assigned the task of leading a desperate charge against Union forces who had pinned down the rebel force in a ravine along the Rio Grande. The charge broke the Federal line which fell back in retreat. He would receive a major’s commission for “gallant action in the field” and was appointed as a confidential messenger to Richmond and served as aide-de-camp to Confederate generals Dick Taylor, Tom Green and General Longstreet. So adept was he at his position that he received a colonel’s brevet and was appointed as Jefferson Davis’s confidential messenger to Confederate commanders west of the Mississippi. His service would come to an end in April, 1865 when he was captured during the Battle of Five Forks. Transferred to the Federal prison located on Johnson’s Island, he would remain there until after the close of the war before being released and heading to Europe for a short stint. Returning to his home state of Texas late in 1865, he would hold a number of positions before eventually falling victim to heart disease in 1902. This is a beautiful carte view of Ochiltree dressed in his major’s uniform with Confederate staff officer’s eagle buttons clearly visible. Back marked by Brady. Beautiful carte view!

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