June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


19th Maine Enlisted Men, Nine Identified CDVs

Nine enlisted men including several casualties, with three in civilian dress. Plus a celluloid GAR badge featuring a portrait of Jas. L. Merrick, Department Commander. Three of the images are tentative identifications. The first CDV by J.S. Variell, Gardiner is pencil signed Corporal Charles E. Ramsdell, Co. H; WIA Wilderness (5/6/64); m/o as Sergeant 5/65. Pvt. Nathaniel Jaques, Co. F, is signed twice with A.M. McKenny, Portland imprint and revenue stamp. Jaques advanced to Sergeant in 1863, reduced to Private; transferred.

Sergeant A. Andrews/Co. A, 19th Me. Vols. is ink signed on verso, no back mark. Sergeant Andrews was “present” at Gettysburg;” WIA Wilderness (5/6/64); m/o 5/65. A gem type is ink signed Sgt. A. Titus/19th Maine Vols. Private Alney W. Titus, Co. C, joined 8/63; WIA Petersburg (6/12/64); transferred to 1st Maine HA 12/64.

Another gem type bears partial pencil identification, John A. H (or K). The youth is unknown. A CDV of the same young man standing in uniform is similarly unknown. Two post-war cartes with penciled names dating from the 1880s were thought to be 19th Maine men.

19th Maine, 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Corps

The 19th Maine was organized at Bath in August 1862 and joined the Washington Defenses before assignment to the 2nd Corps, where it served for the duration. The regiment was not heavily engaged at Antietam while its first real test came at Fredericksburg, coming under intensive rebel artillery fire while assembling for a charge.

At Gettysburg, the regiment held a position in the center of the 2nd Corps line mid-way between Cemetery Hill and Little Round Top. As Sickles’ overextended 3rd Corps disintegrated in the Peach Orchard during McLaws’ late afternoon attack, the 2nd Corps was hurriedly rearranged, forming a second line to prevent an all out Confederate break-through. Amidst the general confusion, the advancing rebel battle line descended upon the unsupported 19th Maine “who arose unwaveringly from the smoke to receive it.” A well aimed shot dropped a rebel flag bearer followed by a massive volley that stopped the Confederates in their tracks. Simultaneous enfilade fire at close range had a terrible effect and “the Confederate regiment melted away in the smoke and was seen no more.” A report filtered in that the enemy had advanced on the far right meaning that the 19th Maine would soon find itself cut-off. The regiment was quickly ordered to fall back, which was done in good order. Emerging from the smoke the regiment’s officers surveyed the landscape and quickly determined that the threat of envelopment on the right “had been incorrect.” The regiment immediately faced about and charged back into the advancing Confederate line, propelling itself to within 100 yards of the Emmitsburg Road. The sudden counter attack recovered four Union cannon and claimed many prisoners along with one stand of colors. The next day the regiment helped repel Pickett’s Charge from a position near the copse of trees. In two days of fighting, the 19th Maine suffered 65 men killed and mortally wounded and 137 with lesser injuries.

The 19th Maine marched in Grant’s Overland Campaign and fought for nearly two months without let-up, suffering particularly heavy losses at Spotsylvania in May and the Jerusalem Plank Road in June. The regiment participated in final operations at Appomattox and mustered out May 31, 1865, having lost 192 men in battle.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:CDVs G, undamaged with wear and soiling.

Estimate: $500 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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