June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


19th Maine Officers, Four Identified CDVs

Four cartes, with one officer in civilian attire. The first CDV is signed in blue pencil Levi Rackliff, Co. B, with Curtis & Crosby, Lewiston imprint. Rackliff enlisted as 2nd Lieut. 8/62; promoted 1st Lieut.; resigned 10/62. Accompanying the CDV is Levi Rackliff’s later 19th century printed calling card showing him as a California Republican Nominee for STATE TREASURER. Second carte is ink signed on verso Lieut. Tucker, 19th Maine Vols., no back mark. This is Josiah W. Tucker, who joined Co. A, as Sergeant 8/62; promoted Lieut.; discharged 12/64.

A CDV by King, Portland, beautifully ink scripted on verso, Capt. Asbury C. Richards/E Co., 19th Regt./Me. Vols. Asbury C. Richards enlisted as Sergeant 8/62; promoted 2nd Lieut.; promoted Captain; discharged for disability 9/64. The last carte is a civilian view of William, L. Gerrish/2nd Lt. & Adjt, 19th Me. Vols. by Wm . Pierce./ Brunswick, Me. Inked on verso is a dedication to Lt. Col. J.W. Spaulding. Gerrish joined as Sergeant, Co. A; promoted 2nd Lieut., Co. K; died of disease 2/65.

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:All four cartes G+., undamaged with wear and soiling.

Estimate: $300 - $400
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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