June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


7th Maine Soldiers, Six Identified CDVs

Four officers including one tintype, plus two enlisted men, one being a CDV and the other a mounted oval CDV-sized tintype. Captain Henry Rolfe,Co. I, no back mark; resigned 12/61. Pencil signed Major James P. Jones as Captain, Co. B, with Whitehurst imprint. Jones enlisted 8/61 and was wounded in action twice, at Antietam and the Wilderness. He commanded the company at Gettysburg; later KIA Fort Stevens, DC (7/12/64) “by a ball from a rebel sharpshooter.”

Probably 1st Lieut. William H. Larabee, Co. K, by King, Portland, with a modern pencil identification. Larabee joined as Corporal; promoted 1st Lieut. & Adjutant 9/62; m/o 8/64. An uncased odd sized 2.5 x 3.5 in. tintype identified in modern pen as Captain Stephen C. Fletcher, Co. F. Fletcher was commissioned as Major 8/63; transferred to 1st Maine Veteran Inf. 8/64 as Lieut. Colonel; promoted Bvt. Colonel 4/65; m/o 6/65. In our judgment based on the details of the frock coat and studio props, the tintype appears to be immediate-post war, calling the Fletcher ID into question.

Pencil identified Sergeant Nelson S. Fales, Co. B, wearing a 6th Corps badge with Geo. B. Butler, Bath imprint. Fales joined as Private 8/61; WIA Salem Heights, VA (5/4/63); transferred to 1st Maine Veteran Inf.; m/o 9/64. The mounted tintype is pencil signed D. Noyes/7th Me. Inf. Noyes entered Co. B 8/61 as Private and was “present” at Gettysburg; later WIA Spotsylvania (5/12/64). Advanced to Sergeant, he transferred to the 1st Maine Veteran Inf. 8/64; m/o 6/65.

7th Maine, 3rd Brigade, 2nd Division, 6th Corps

The 7th Maine was organized at Augusta in June 1861 and spent its early service in the Washington Defenses. The regiment was attached to the 6th Corps in May 1862 and remained with that organization for the duration. The regiment was active during the Peninsula Campaign but was not heavily engaged during the subsequent Seven Days battles for Richmond. The 7th Maine was shattered at Antietam during an ill-conceived foray to clear enemy sharpshooters from the Piper Barn on the Hagerstown Park, what turned out to be the center of the Confederate line. Unbeknownst to the 7th Maine, the regiment funneled into a killing zone and was effectively ambushed by a much superior force before the survivors managed to fight their way out. Afterwards, only 68 men formed on the colors out of 240 that had gone forward. The regiment was spared the carnage of Fredericksburg but was, once more, decimated at Chancellorsville by “canister from the guns on Marye’s Heights,” a position it helped carry in a magnificent charge. In two days of severe combat over 80 men were killed and wounded there and on Salem Heights. The 7th Maine had but little time to recover as the army advanced to parry Lee at Gettysburg.

The 7th Maine numbered about 200 effectives when it arrived at Gettysburg on July 2nd. The 6th Corps was not heavily committed but the regiment was shifted around to plug holes in the line. The next day it found itself on the extreme right of the Union army anchored on the Baltimore Pike. Here, it had a brisk skirmish with Confederates losing 2 men killed and 5 mortally wounded.

The 7th Maine marched with Grant into the inferno that characterized the summer of 1864 as a total war of attrition. From the moment the Overland Campaign commenced, the regiment was engaged relentlessly in some major skirmish or pitched battle that usually found expendable Federal infantry attacking fixed Confederate positions. From the meat grinder of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania in May through Petersburg in July, the regiment was bled white with another 241 killed, wounded, and missing added to mournful casualty lists. The remnants of the battalion mustered out on September 5, 1864 having sacrificed their bit for the everlasting glory of the Army of the Potomac.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:All images VG. Jones and Fales cartes trimmed with rounded corners.

Estimate: $650 - $750
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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