3rd Maine Soldiers, Four Identified CDVs

A CDV of Captain William H. Briggs, Co. B, inked signed beneath portrait, no back mark. Briggs entered as Sergeant and was 1st Lieut. when he was KIA at Cold Harbor (5/30/64). Another unknown staff grade officer is incorrectly identified as Samuel Hamblen who never ranked higher than Captain. The verso is profusely marked with numerous speculative pencil identifications and bears the imprint of Anson’s. A third officer is pencil identified as F.W. Gilbreth having a J.S. Hendee, Augusta imprint. This is 2nd Lieut. Frederick W. Gilbreth who served in the 3rd Maine Battery from enlistment until 6/64, not the 3rd Maine Infantry. Gilbreth became a Volunteer Aide-de-Camp during the Atlanta Campaign and ended the war with two brevets for “gallantry” (Major and Lieut. Colonel for Atlanta, Savannah, and the Carolinas) before m/o 6/66. The last view is pencil signed Cpl. Ellis Ayers, Co. C, bearing a J.S. Variell, Gardiner, Me. imprint. Corporal Ayer was discharged 5/63 and joined the 2nd Maine Cavalry as Sergeant, later KIA at Marianna, FL (9/27/64).

3rd Maine, 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, 3rd Corps

Organized in Augusta in June 1861, the 3rd Maine served with the 3rd Corps through March 1864. It fought at First Bull Run losing nearly 50 casualties and suffered heavily during the Seven Days fighting and subsequent battles—Fair Oaks, Malvern Hill, 2nd Bull Run, Chantilly—that raged during the summer of 1862. The 3rd Maine lost 9 killed and wounded at Fredericksburg and nearly five times that many at Chancellorsville.

At Gettysburg, the 3rd Maine will be remembered for the savage defensive battle in the Peach Orchard. On July 2nd the regiment participated in a reconnaissance in force crossing the Emmitsburg Road preceded by elements of Berdan’s 1st US Sharpshooters. While forming up to eject Rebel skirmishers from a dense stretch of woods, the 3rd Maine came face to face with columns of Wilcox’s advancing Alabama brigade intent on attacking the Union left. An intense exchange of volley fire ensued lasting about 25 minutes before the “bugle sounded retreat” and the Federals fell back before the gray onslaught. After an “unaccountable sluggishness” lasting several hours, Lafayette McLaws division finally surged forward in a furious late afternoon assault on the Peach Orchard.

A grim but futile defense ensued but the Union salient was overwhelmed by enfilade fire and abruptly gave way. The 3rd Maine was “wrapped in a vortex of fire” and was “hurled out of the Orchard by overwhelming numbers.” The survivors retreated to the second line held by Hancock Corps. Later that night only 97 men reported “present” for roll call.

The veteran 3rd Maine participated in the early phase of Grant’s Overland Campaign during the early summer of 1864, seeing heavy fighting at the Wilderness and at Spotsylvania Court House. The valiant regiment mustered out of service on June 18, 1864, having suffered 135 men killed and wounded.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:Cartes near VG., Ayer CDV heavily trimmed at top.

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


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