Earlier today, I, along with fellow board members Alan Farley and Kenny Rowlette, traveled to a "super secret" location in the Shenandoah Valley to consider an acquisition for the National Civil War Chaplains Museum. What a trip! After being satisfied of its authenticity and negotiating a little bit on the price, we put a deposit down on this "Gettysburg Laptop." Actually, this is a lapdesk that belonged to Union Chaplain Reverend John Thomas, an Englishmen who we've confirmed was a Presbyterian minister associated with the 84th & 100th Pennsylvania. He was at Gettysburg and, since the lapdesk was given to him in 1861, we would have to assume it was there with him.
We would be very interested if any readers know of any correspondence written by Chaplain Thomas. Thomas is mentioned in Faith in the Fight - Civil War Chaplains, which was written by John W. Brinsfield, William C. Davis, Benedict Maryniak, and James I. Robertson, Jr. The piece has a split in the top, as you can see, but otherwise is in mint condition. Despite the crack, it is a solid piece and makes a very nice addition to the museum's growing collection. We are delighted to have found it. Anyone having items related to the museum's mission that they wish to donate, loan, or sell, please feel free to shoot me an email. There will be more details in a new release soon. (Click on any image to see a larger, detailed version of the photo.)