June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


17th Maine Enlisted Men, Seven Identified CDVs

Six CDVs and one tintype of enlisted men. Scratched into the back of the uncased CDV-sized tintype is L.M. Deering, who enlisted as Private, Co. F, 8/62; deserted 7/64. A second CDV, ink signed on verso, J.E.E. Pray/Hosp. Stwd. 17th Maine beneath W. L. Bracy, Gt. Falls, N.H. imprint. Pray joined as Private, Co. G, 8/62; “present” at Gettysburg on detached service as “field hosp. ass’t.” Promoted Hospital Steward 1/64; m/o 6/65.

Ink signed is Edward L. Brackett, 17th Maine Vols. with J.C. Spaulding, Point Lookout, Md. imprint. Private Brackett enlisted in Co. D, 8/62; discharged 6/65. Private William D. Ames is ink signed with Gooding & Co., Portland, back mark and faded two cent revenue stamp. Ames was in Co. A, 9/63; m/o 4/65.

Private John Sawyer is pencil signed, no imprint. Sawyer was a draftee who served in Co. I from 8/63; transferred to 1st Maine HA; m/o 9/66. Private Frank Chellis, Co. C, is pencil signed with a pair of red one cent tax stamps on verso, no imprint. Chellis enlisted 12/63; promoted Principal Musician; transferred to 1st Maine HA 12/64. Last is a late-war CDV tentatively identified as Pvt. Henry H. Libby, Co. I. Libby entered 8/62; was “present” at Gettysburg; transferred to VRC 6/64.

17th Maine, 3rd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Corps

The 17th Maine was organized at Camp King, Cape Elizabeth in August 1862 and was initially assigned to Washington Defenses. The regiment served in the 3rd Corps beginning in October 1862 and was transferred to the 2nd Corps in March 1864. During its entire term of service with the Army of the Potomac, the 17th Maine bore a conspicuous role in every battle in which it participated, having suffered commensurately. At Fredericksburg the regiment endured punishing Confederate artillery fire, and while at Chancellorsville, the 17th was in the thick of the furious fighting that befell Sickles’ Corps on May 3rd, losing over 70 men.

At Gettysburg, the 17th Maine of de Trobriand’s brigade bore a prominent role in the defense of the Wheatfield on July 2nd before finding itself unsupported and outflanked by Kershaw’s onslaught. Ordered to withdraw, the remnants of the exhausted regiment held a thin line with the 5th Michigan for a tenuous 45 minutes before elements of the 2nd Corps came up in support. The two-hour fight had cost the intrepid regiment over 100 casualties, in exchange for immortality.

Far from fought-out, the 17th Maine joined in Grant’s Overland Campaign and was quickly gutted at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania. In a series of almost daily battles lasting over a month—from May 5 to June 7—the regiment lost 260 men before going into the trenches at Petersburg. The 17th Maine was engaged without respite until the very end of the war suffering 15 killed and wounded during the last major battle fought by the Army of the Potomac at Sailors Creek. After the satisfaction of witnessing the surrender of Lee’s army at Appomattox, the valiant regiment mustered out June 4, 1865, having sustained over 200 killed and wounded.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:Tintype with sharp clarity and minor horizontal bends, G+. No case or hardware. Sawyer and Libby cartes with heavy wear, about G. The rest near VG. with corner and edge wear.

Estimate: $600 - $800
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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