46

General Samuel K. Zook, DOW Gettysburg, ALS

1p, 5 x 8 in., New York, 31 Oct. 1861. To NY Governor E.D. Morgan requesting the appointment of Dr. George H. Leach as surgeon of his regiment.

Samuel Kurtz Zook was born in 1822. He later changed his middle name to Kosciuszko. A "born" military man, he spent his boyhood commanding his schoolmates on the fortifications of Valley Forge near his home.

After his schooling, he joined the Pennsylvania Militia, but this was not a full-time profession, so he started a career with the telegraph, still in its infancy. He became proficient at working the keys, and continued also working for the westward expansion of this new means of rapid communication. In 1851 he moved to New York City to manage the telegraph office of the Atlantic & Ohio. He joined the New York Militia, and was commissioned Lieut. Col. of the 6th NY Regiment in 1855.

When the Civil War began, the 6th volunteered as a 90-day regiment. Discharged after their 90 days were up, Zook was given authorization to raise a regiment, one that was to become the 57th New York, and appointed Col. on Oct. 19, 1861. Once they entered federal service, they proceeded to Washington, DC, where they were assigned to French's brigade of Sumner's division.

From Washington, Zook's regiment was transferred to the Peninsula to serve with McClellan. He missed the battle at Antietam since he was on medical leave, thought to be related to chronic rheumatism. Many are of the opinion that his best performance was at Fredericksburg. His was one of the first brigades to arrive, and he wanted to cross as soon as possible. But the inability to receive the pontoon bridges held up the crossing of the Rappahannock. Once across, the first Union troops to advance was French's brigade. They were halted as Hancock's troops began their advance. In command of the 3rd brigade, Zook was the first of Hancock's units. He ended up leading his troops closer to the enemy's works than any other unit, which earned him his Brigadier star.

At Gettysburg, Zook's brigade was directed toward the wheat field to reinforce de Trobriand and the 3rd Corps. Taking his brigade up Stony Hill, he had a good view of the movement of his men, but the Confederates had a good view of him. Shot in the shoulder, chest and abdomen, he was taken behind the lines for medical treatment. Initially taken to Hoke Tollhouse on the Baltimore Pike, he was later moved even farther to the rear, but died of his wounds on the 3rd of July. He is buried in Montgomery Cemetery in Norristown, PA near Generals Hancock and Hartranft.

Condition:Docketed on verso, expected folds, else excellent.

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium
$1,175
06/11/2010

 

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