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Object Record

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Object Name Set, Chess
Catalog Number 0985.07.00203a-ee
Description 30 chess pieces (b-ee), stored in a maple and walnut box (a). The rectangular box has a chessboard inlay on the top. The chess pieces are carved from maple and black walnut. Two (2) white pawns are missing and one extra rook does not match the set. Written on the bottom on the box in black ink "R.J. Laurence" and in red ink "Miss".
Material Wood
Dimensions H-3.5 W-4.5 L-6 inches
Owned Robert J. Lawrence
Owner Regiment 14th Mississippi Infantry
Made Robert J. Lawrence
Provenance Made by Major Robert J. Lawrence of Tuscaloosa, Alabama who commanded the 14th Mississippi Infantry which surrendered at Fort Donelson. The chess set was carved in prison with a pocket knife, broken glass, and sandpaper. The light pieces were made from maple, which was brought into the prisons for firewood; the dark pieces were carved from black walnut root, well dried. According to Lawrence he refused an offer of $300.00 for the chess set by a Federal officer. (Detailed history in file)
People Lawrence, Robert J.
Search Terms Battle of Fort Donelson
Subjects POW's
Prisoners of war