Lot 17    

Civil War Company Books of Co. E, 44th Mass.
2/3/2011 - ONLINE American History Timed Auction
Lot of 3 suede bound folio volumes: Company Descriptive Book; Company Clothing; Company Orders. Second with stamp at top Capt. S.W. Richardson, Co. E. 44th Reb. Mass. V. Third volume with stamp Co. E. 44th Reg. Mass. V. Each with partially printed pages. The first (Descriptive book) with pages for List of Commissioned Officers, (3 listed); List of Non-commissioned Officers, (16 listed); Register of Men Transferred (none); Register of Men Discharged (9 listed - most "rejected recruits" or "physical disability"); Register of Deaths (only one listed KIA); Register of Deserters (none); and Descriptive Roll of Company, with 24 pages (12 double pages) of recruits from the Boston/Waltham/Cambridge area enlisted on Aug. 29. This was the second New England Guards Regiment, recruited for a 9-month term of service under the call of Aug. 1862. In the second volume, each enlistee has a page; clothing issues began Oct. 22 and continued into June, when the unit completed its 9-month term.

The book of orders is a bit more revealing (Nov. 17, 1862 to Feb. 27, 1863). The first General Order states that men who were on guard duty the previous night are not excused from Dress Parade the following day. The second order prohibits smoking in the barracks. It only took until G.O. No. 5 to countermand this order. One can imagine the protest... A bit later, smoking was restricted to barracks with spitoons because of the filth created.

G.O. No. 6 suggests As a slight demonstration of the affection and esteem we have all learned, by our recent experiences, to feel for our present commanding Officer, it is ordered that the present Regimental Camp be hereafter known as "Camp Stevenson"... Many are typical orders: the hour of sick call; the hour to sound "Tattoo" and "Taps;" no drills on Thanksgiving Day; two men from each company to be designated "pioneers;" orders to detail individuals for special assignments, etc.

However, G.O. No. 15 calls for a meeting of Regimental Court Martial for the trial of Pvt. Amos Tappan. G.O. No. 17 (Dec. 4) calls for removal from camp of all "negroes who are not servants of Commissioned Officers" or who have permission to be in camp and charges the guards with keeping them out. Order No. 20 concerns "urinating and relieving the bowels" in undesignated places. Many others concern the filthy conditions of the barracks.

January brought with it "several severe cases of malarious fever," so quinine was to be issued. The last item dated Feb. 27 is the result of a court martial for three men charged with refusing to obey an order (all guilty and sentenced to one month in prison and hard labor).

Richardson Family Archive

Spencer Welles Richardson joined the nine-month 44th Massachusetts Militia as captain of Company E in August 1862. The regiment was attached to the 18th Corps, Department of North Carolina, and engaged in a handful of skirmishes and expeditions from Newberne during the spring of 1863. The 44th mustered out in June 1863 having suffered 11 battle casualties. Post-war, Captain Richardson was active in the local GAR and MOLLUS and lived until 1914.


Provenance:  
Property of Descendants of Union Army Capt. Spencer W. Richardson, Boston, Massachusetts


Condition:  
All are becoming a bit loose as expected from use. The first has a few pages separating.
Sold: $940.00
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