June 20, 2013 08:00 PM EDT Cincinnati


Private Meschach P. Larry, 16th Maine-MIA Wilderness, CDV & Tintype

A standing portrait of Private Larry with goatee against a painted canvas camp scene having block US/PICTURE TENT written lower right. Flag is washed lightly in red and Larry’s trousers in sky blue. Larry wears a nine button frock coat and kepi with illegible brass insignia. The plate is backed with a period piece of paper that bears the old ink identification, Meshach P(?)inton Larry/in Union Army. The CDV features Larry casually posed in civilian dress beside a studio column. Inked on the back is, Philea Dolis’ (sic)/picture/Meshach P./Larry/in military/dress/Killed in/Battle of/Wilderness/1864.

Meschach P. Larry, possibly a Jewish soldier, enlisted 8/62 in Co. H. Maine at Gettysburg, p. 206 lists Larry on detached service with “surgeon’s detail.” He was reported MIA at the Wilderness (5/6/64); “absent, missing at m/o of Regt. 6/4/65; presumed KIA.

16th Maine, 1st Brigade, 2nd Division, 1st Corps

The 16th Maine was organized at Augusta in August 1862 and was assigned to the 1st Corps. In its first major action the regiment was nearly annihilated at Fredericksburg during an indomitable charge against well entrenched Rebels that cost “in killed wounded and missing two hundred thirty-one—more than one-half the number engaged.” Over two hundred rebel prisoners were taken and the men of the 16th Maine had to be restrained as they surged toward the enemy’s second line.

At Gettysburg, the 16th Maine was heavily engaged during the stand of the 1st Corps on the afternoon of July 1st. Part of Paul’s (1st) Brigade, the regiment held a portion of General Robertson’s 2nd Division line against Robert Rode’s attack on the salient north of the Chambersburg Pike. Desperately holding a hill overlooking the Pike without support, the 16th Maine was finally outflanked and overwhelmed by superior numbers. The regiment fell back, cut off from the rest of the brigade, losing a large number of men as prisoners. At Gettysburg, the 16th Maine suffered 11 killed, 62 wounded, and 159 captured out of 275 men on the field.

Reassigned to the 5th Corps in March 1864, the 16th Maine saw continuous combat during the opening phase of Grant’s Overland Campaign, taking particularly heavy casualties at the Wilderness, Laurel Hill, and Spotsylvania in May 1864. The regiment was also prominent in the see-saw fighting on the Weldon Railroad in August 1864 and emerging from the Petersburg trenches, again, in February 1865. The 16th Maine participated in the Appomattox Campaign and witnessed the surrender of the army of Northern Virginia. It mustered out on June 5, 1865 having lost 181 men killed and wounded.

Provenance:The Tom MacDonald Maine Civil War CDV Collection

Condition:Quarter plate tintype without case lacking retainer and glass. Plate with minor surface rubbing noted in varnish top coat, no bends, VG. Bright with average clarity. CDV soiled with edge wear and rounded corners, traces of old glue top corners, still G+.

Estimate: $400 - $600
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium


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