8th Missouri Cavalry Ambrotype

Mar 15, 2019

8th Missouri Cavalry Ambrotype

This ambrotype of a 8th Missouri Cav soldier sold for over $10,000 in 2005 at Cowan’s Auctions.


Outstanding Sixth Plate Ambrotype of Edwin “Bud” Shirley, 8th Missouri Cavalry

The full item description on Cowan’s reads:

Missouri Irregular & 8th Missouri Cavalry, C.S.A., armed with uncommon M1855 Colt revolving carbine. Image and story were published in the July-August 1992 issue of MI magazine. A typed note dated “1920” attests to the identification, adding that “Bud” was the younger brother of “Belle Starr.” Note further relates that the image was purchased from “Pearl Star” by a “Hiram Butterfield.” Penciled behind the case is, As a spy for Qauntrill/Edwin B. Shirley/Born Feb 3, 1846. Edwin is unknown and must have been John’s (Allison Mansfield) brother; however, no record of Edwin B. Shirley can be found in Confederate rosters, if, indeed, he ever served. The accompanying article states that “Bud” Shirley joined the “Jasper County (Missouri) Scouts,” an irregular unit, in the summer of 1862, narrowly avoiding capture on at least one occasion that witnessed the cold-blooded “execution” of his compatriot by Union Missouri Militia. War in Missouri was insidious and brutally personal beyond measure. The young Shirley later joined Company K., 8th Missouri Cavalry and rode under Marmaduke during the attack on Helena, Arkansas. In the summer of 1864 “Bud” was shot and killed at the home of the town blacksmith in Sarcoxie, Missouri while attempting to flee a squad of 7th Missouri Cavalry (US) sent to apprehend him and an associate who barely escaped. The blacksmith’s home and that of a nearby neighbor were burned for harboring guerillas.

Ex George Hart Collection

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JPK Huson 1863

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Feb 14, 2012
Central Pennsylvania
I'm stuck although that means nothing. No one would pay that price for an image unless it was very well researched. I just can't find an Edwin of that era in Missouri in 1860- one who was only 11 in 1860. Family could have relocated from another state although quickly running through a few of those ( Virginia, NC, SC, Conneticut and New York ) is very helpful- most are on 1870's census too. Two or three have elder sisters or at least sisters whose names could be shortened to ' Belle '- Elizabeth, one Isabella who wasn't born until 1870, an " A " Shirley, younger brother " E " in an 1850's census in NY.

What an incredible face and story to overlay all the blood.

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