Lot 536    

Mexican War Archive of Capt. E.C. Williams 2nd Pennsylvania Infantry,
2007, Historic Americana, June 6 & 7
lot of 19. Including four war dated letters to Williams; partially printed promotion document of a private Lieb to 2nd Lt., Mexico City; one manuscript letter to Williams, dated 1843; five manuscript Muster Rolls/Morning Reports 1847-48, one undated but titled Mexico and one undated and likely Mexico; four partially printed musters/equipment accounts, with war dates, General Order No. 11 dated Harrisburg, 1846; printed petition from 2nd Pa. infantry to Pa. legislature; Williams` wedding certificate, AND his wife`s Mexican War Widow document.

Two infantry regiments were raised in Pennsylvania for the war on Mexico in 1846 to 1848, both earning their laurels in hard combat. The 2nd Regiment linked up with Gen. Winfield Scott at Vera Cruz and saw action at Cerro Gordo, Jalapa, Puebla, Contreras, and Churubusco, and finally marched into the capital in September to force the capitulation of the capitol. This small collection of letters and documents from the Philadelphian Edward C. Williams, who commanded Company G throughout its service, includes five letters written by friends in the seat of the Pennsylvania legislature, Harrisburg, between Feb. and May, 1848. During the Civil War, Williams returned to the service as Col. of the 9th Pennsylvania Cavalry.

Reflecting the attitudes of ardently pro-war Democrats, the letters to Williams are filled with the sort of talk that still echoes today, and with pride (and perhaps envy) at the gallantry displayed by Williams’ regiment in battle as well as with news of political affairs at home. In typical fashion, one friend of Williams’ mixes what he has heard of the exploits of the 2nd Regiment with news of the political scene at home: I see by the papers your company has been pretty well reduced having but 24 men left. This is what I anticipated in their going into that climate. You mention that peace is very nigh at hand for it seems that Jimmy Polk wants a little larger slice than they are willing to give from their country. And then he will have Catholics enough to make two or three more democratic Loco Foco states and secure the future triumphs of the party… The Whigs are making fools of themselves with H. Clay at their head in denouncing the war. The right way would have been to fought it through as soon as possible and then attack the administration for commencing the war in the manner they did. Clay and his friends are making great efforts to have him put in nomination for the Presidency, but I think they will be beat out. My impression is Gen Taylor or Scott will be nominated. I prefer Scott to all others, but will be satisfied with Taylor….

In keeping with the echoes to the present day, another friend complained bitterly of how the wrangling in Washington had affected the army: There seems to me to be an unpardonable delay in Congress in relation to raising men for the Mexican Service. The unfortunate and intemperate speeches made at Washington in relation to Mexico with the delays attending them has caused much suffering in the army and great loss of life from disease and otherwise,. I can fully appreciate opposition to the war with a Foreign power before it has commenced But after it has begun here all opposition it seems to me should cease, and every patriot who loves his country and the men who have volunteered to defend our rights I would suppose would feel himself bound to lend every means to prosecute it to a speedy termination….

Although the home front letters are excellent, the bulk of the collection comes from the war zone, consisting of an important trove of documents relating to Williams’ duties with the 2nd Pennsylvania. These range from the printed 1p. general orders no. 11 (Dec. 1846) authorizing raising the regiment to a morning report for Co. G; three highly detailed descriptive rolls for privates in the company; three partially printed returns for the company (June and Dec., 1847, May 1848) indicating unit strength; a partially printed honorable discharge for Pvt. Christian Leib, signed by Williams; and finally a war widow’s pension form, 1904. Two spectacular muster rolls crown the collection: a large printed muster roll for Williams’ company filled in for Oct.-Dec. 1847, and more notable still, an oversized hand written roll apparently recorded at the time of mustering out, listing every soldier, promotions, discharges, wounds, and deaths.

Of special note is an exceptionally scarce printed broadside petition from the officers of Company G to the Pennsylvania Senate, complaining of their ill treatment respecting pay due them for their service. The collection also includes Williams’ marriage certificate and an attractive, and exceptionally delicate, pocket watch approximately 1 inch in diameter.

A nice collection of documents and letters from a well-regarded regiment of the Mexican War. Great insight into a divisive American war and its political ramifications.

Archive includes a gold open-face key-wind lady`s lapel watch that belonged to his wife and was carried by him in both the Mexican and Civil Wars, marked Breguet, serial number 15107, with engraved silver dial, gold case has floral engraved back, 1.2" diameter.

Generally in good condition, with some tears and minor soiling. We do not guarantee working order of watches.
Sold: $1,495.00
Price includes
Buyer's Premium
      Ask a Question

All Images

don't miss

an opportunity to bid. You can't win if you're not in.

sign up to bid

what's it worth?

ask the experts

sell your item

start selling
Two Rare CDVs of Photographer George Bill of the  Fiske Expedition,
Lot # 54 - Two Rare CDVs of Photographer George Bill of the Fiske Expedition,
lot of 2, both anonymous, but almost certainly taken by Illingworth. The first carte (likely one of the pairs of a stereographic negative taken on the expedition) shows Bill standing in a small punt on the Missouri River loaded with personal gear and photographic equipment. A large crate (perhaps h... > Item Details
Sixth Plate Daguerreotype of Gentleman
Lot # 968 - Sixth Plate Daguerreotype of Gentleman
resting comfortably in a chair next to a table in the high quality sixth plate. The plate is in fantastic shape. The case is brown leather an worn, and its has a boat design from which the sail reads "E.L. Litte", perhaps the name of the boat. > Item Details
Large Group of 19th Century Manuscripts and Paper Ephemera,
Lot # 1110 - Large Group of 19th Century Manuscripts and Paper Ephemera,
lot of 32, includes a U.S. Land grant for Iowa Territory with secretarial signature of James K. Polk, dated July 2nd 1836 partially printed document on vellum with embossed seal, for a John U. Finley, PLUS a manuscript indenture of deed on vellum dated 1802 for 100 acres of land in Beaver Township, ... > Item Details
[WYOMING TERRITORY.] <i>Message of Governor Campbell, to the First Legislative Assembly of Wyoming Territory. Convened at Cheyenne, October 12th, 1869</i>
Lot # 289 - [WYOMING TERRITORY.] Message of Governor Campbell, to the First Legislative Assembly of Wyoming Territory. Convened at Cheyenne, October 12th, 1869
Evening Leader Office, Cheyenne, Wyoming, 1869. 8.5" x 5.75", paper covers, inscribed on front cover by J. A. Campbell, 13pp. This is Gov. Campbell's address to this group "the representatives of the people of Wyoming Territory, met together for the first time in our history in a Legislative capaci... > Item Details
Sixth Plate Daguerreotype of Two Children In Cast Iron Bench,
Lot # 899 - Sixth Plate Daguerreotype of Two Children In Cast Iron Bench,
an extremely beautiful and well preserved image of two young children, one boy and one girl. They are both seated on an ornately cast bench and are dressed well. The boy's buttons and the girl's necklace are colored gold. The case is a brown with gold leaf on the outside of the case. There are al... > Item Details
One Quarter Plate Daguerreotype Portrait of a Man
Lot # 1025 - One Quarter Plate Daguerreotype Portrait of a Man
in a full suit and photographed from the waist up. The mat and plate are in excellent condition. Case is severed at the binding, but full case is present with latches. > Item Details
Firemen's Pinback Medal Plus,
Lot # 1331 - Firemen's Pinback Medal Plus,
lot of 3, includes a 3-part stamped brass medal with pinback with Souvenir and scroll work surround, with red, white and blue ribbon hanger and 1.5” circular medallion with U.S. Flag on verso and cross fire equipment on reverse with surrounding inscription Firemen's (sic) Tournament 1898 July 3-5 S... > Item Details
Three CDVs  by the Jackson Brothers  of Omaha,
Lot # 58 - Three CDVs by the Jackson Brothers of Omaha,
lot of 3, all with Jackson Brothers' Omaha, Nebraska imprint on verso. Images include two bird's-eye views of the city, with the third image of a streetscape, the Omaha National Bank on the corner. > Item Details
Sixth Plate Ambrotype of a Violinist
Lot # 1043 - Sixth Plate Ambrotype of a Violinist
although cracked in several places, this sixth plate ambrotype is unique. A scraggly looking violinist poses with his instrument and bow in hand. Both the violin and the man's face are hand tinted. Except for the cracks, the plate is excellent. The case is also in rough condition, with spinal re... > Item Details
Four Gettysburg Folk Art Canes,
Lot # 645 - Four Gettysburg Folk Art Canes,
all cut from saplings from the battlefield with all over pyro decoration and original varnish finishes, includes one with 8.75" bark covered knob and with pyro Corps Badges and ink stamped inscription Gettysburg/July 1-2-3 1863/Wood From/Round Top, total length 36", PLUS 2nd with semi-crook form kno... > Item Details
A Quarter Plate Daguerreotype of an Antebellum Virginia House and Greenhouse,
Lot # 495 - A Quarter Plate Daguerreotype of an Antebellum Virginia House and Greenhouse,
housed in a pressed leather case, image shows a grand view of a two story home with a large greenhouse situated in the front yard. The location is believed to be Louisa, Virginia. This image was exhibited in 1996 at the Atlanta History Center in an exhibit focused on Southern daguerreotypes. > Item Details
[CALIFORNIA.] Bean, Edwin F.,
Lot # 301 - [CALIFORNIA.] Bean, Edwin F.,
Bean's History and Directory of Nevada County, California . Nevada: Printed at the Daily Gazette and Book Job Office. 1867. First Ed., 8vo, original leather-backed, printed & illustrated boards, vi (Sacramento Business Directory), (6, Contents, Advertisers), (1)-424pp., advts. interspersed (some ill... > Item Details
Fine Group of Occupational and Other Cabinet Cards,
Lot # 514 - Fine Group of Occupational and Other Cabinet Cards,
lot of 7, includes portrait of a Civil War Vet in his GAR broad brimmed hat, wearing a GAR medal and holding a cane with imprint of Bull & Collins, Wichita, Kans., PLUS portrait of an elderly gentleman titled in negative Jacob St. Lawrence 105 yrs. Old with imprint of Westland Studio, PLUS bare-ches... > Item Details
Savage and Ottinger CDV of the Joining of the Rails, May 10, 1869,
Lot # 373 - Savage and Ottinger CDV of the Joining of the Rails, May 10, 1869,
with Savage and Ottinger's Great Salt Lake City, Utah imprint on verso. Image shows a happy crowd surrounding the railroad tracks. Both respected artists, Charles R. Savage (1832-1909) and George M. Ottinger (1833-1917) formed a photographic partnership than lasted until 1870. Their images taken of... > Item Details
J.C. Grabill Photograph of Cowboys at Rest, T. Camp, T.O.T. Ranch,
Lot # 419 - J.C. Grabill Photograph of Cowboys at Rest, T. Camp, T.O.T. Ranch,
silver gelatin print, 8.5 x 6.5" on larger gilt-bordered card with Grabill's Chicago Portrait and View Co. address on verso. Titled and numbered in the negative lower right 190 Nest Scene At T-Camp.... A fine image of cowboy life. > Item Details
Sixth Plate Ambrotype Portrait of a Man in a Fountain Union Case,
Lot # 1048 - Sixth Plate Ambrotype Portrait of a Man in a Fountain Union Case,
seated by a table with hand tinting on his cheeks. The plate is in excellent condition. Union Case is called Birds at the Water Fountain (Berg #2-59; Krainik 171). Case has some nicks on the edges and a small green smudge on one corner, else very good. > Item Details
Fine Cabinet Photograph of <i>Calamity Jane</i>,
Lot # 453 - Fine Cabinet Photograph of Calamity Jane,
with imprint of Locke and Peterson, Deadwood, S.D. and titled in the negative Calamity Jane, Gen Crook's Scout. Copyrighted 1895. Perhaps no other figure is more illustrative of the wild days in Deadwood in the 1870s than Martha Jane "Calamity" Cannary (1852-1903). Her history is shrouded in uncerta... > Item Details
Panoramic Photograph of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows Second Trip to England,
Lot # 490 - Panoramic Photograph of Buffalo Bill's Wild West Shows Second Trip to England,
a silver gelatin print from the 1904 visit to Great Britain, 16" x 70" with Cody and manager seated in front center, flanked by American Indians in front row, cowboys, and cowgirls. Others include South Asian Indians, Cossacks, Arabs, English Huntsmen, English Bobbies and more. Many of the American... > Item Details
Scarce Cabinet Card of the <i>Columbus Solon's</i> Baseball Team,
Lot # 872 - Scarce Cabinet Card of the Columbus Solon's Baseball Team,
composite photograph of 13 members of the team, players, manager and owner with engraved image of a batter, printed title Season of 92 Columbus Baseball Club with imprint of Baker, Columbus. Interestingly, this team and league did not have a 1892 season, the league folded in 1891 with several teams,... > Item Details
Fine Stacy Cabinet Card of Buffalo Bill,
Lot # 470 - Fine Stacy Cabinet Card of Buffalo Bill,
with his Brooklyn address. While we have sold numerous images of Cody taken by Stacy, this is the first of this pose we have seen. > Item Details
ITEMS 1-20 of 20