June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


7th Maine Soldiers, Six Identified CDVs

Four officers and two enlisted men. First is pencil identified Major Charles B. Whittemore (as 1st Lieut.), no back mark. Whittemore enlisted as QM Sergeant 9/61; promoted 1st Lieut. & RQM 1/62; was “present” at Gettysburg. He transferred to the QM Department 5/64 as Captain; brevetted Major 3/65; m/o 10/65. Ink signed 2nd Lieut.W. H. Savage, Co. F, by A. M. M’Kenney, Portland. Savage was commissioned 2nd Lieut. 10/62; transferred to 1st Maine Veteran Inf. 8/64; m/o as 1st Lieut.

Next is Captain Granville P. Cochran, Co. K. Captain Cochran joined 8/61; WIA Antietam (9/17/62); transferred to 1st Maine Veteran Inf. 8/64; m/o 6/65. Ink signed Lieut. T. Swan /7th Reg. Me. Vol., Co. A, with A.M. Burnham, Bangor imprint. Swan enlisted as 1st Lieut. 8/61; POW 1862 (place and date not stated); was “present” at Gettysburg assigned to Co. C; later serving as Aide-de-Camp to General Howe. Captain Swan transferred to the 1st Maine Veteran Inf., Co. H, 4/64; resigned 3/65.

Ink signed Private George W. Boyington, Co. D., 10th US Infantry, no back mark. This specifies Private Boyington’s prior service before joining Co. A, 7th Maine in 12/63. Subsequently, he transferred to the 1st Maine Veteran Inf.; m/o 6/65. Ink signed Private W.D. Mills/Co. E., 1st Maine Vet. Vols./East Corinth/Maine with blue two cent revenue stamp and imprint of Gilbert’s Philadelphia. Mills is listed as WIA Winchester (9/19/64); subsequent HDS record contradictory.

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:CDVs are G. with moderate wear and soiling. Savage carte with clipped corners; Boyington image with minor abrasion damage to albumen noted.

Estimate: $750 - $850
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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