Description

    Civil War Union Officer Colonel Oliver Hazard Palmer Archive of the 108th New York Covering the Maryland Campaign, Defense of Harpers Ferry, and Reporting Losses at the Battle of Antietam. Includes approximately 100 letters and documents, circa 1862-1863. Among them: a copy of Palmer's partial report of losses at Antietam, with manuscript lists of the names of 195 killed, wounded, or missing; a December 7, 1862, Autograph Letter Signed from Gen. John H. Martindale (writing as military governor of Washington, D.C.) about infighting among Union officers; letters from Palmer to various military authorities; more than sixty general and special orders, as well as a variety of reports, requisitions, and other military documents, including endorsements of generals Darius B. Couch, William B. French, and Edward V. Sumner.

    Oliver Hazard Palmer (1814-1884), a native of New York, was a lawyer, newspaper editor, and judge before his Civil War service. Palmer, originally a Democrat, became a Republican due to his evolving views on slavery, and actively supported Lincoln in the 1860 presidential election. Appointed colonel of the 108th New York in 1862, he fought under McClellan in the Maryland and Virginia campaigns, seeing action at South Mountain and Antietam. The 108th was first attached to the Defenses of Washington, under Whipple, and then became part of the Second Brigade, commanded by Colonel Dwight Morris, in General William H. French's Third Division of General Edwin V. Sumner's Second Corps in the Army of the Potomac. Palmer went on to lead a brigade at the battle of Fredericksburg, and then retired from command in 1863 due to ill health. He subsequently returned to Rochester, where he held executive positions at Western Union and Mutual Life Insurance. Palmer received the brevet rank of brigadier general following the war's conclusion.


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    Excerpts:

    ... Near Sharpsburgh

    Sep 19th 1862

    I have the honor to report that on the 17th inst my command left Camp near Keelyville about 6 o.clock in the morning and after marching about two miles, having formed into line of battle entered into action on the crest of the hill on the left of the Brigade in the front line of battle, in front of the cornfield and Rifle Pits occupied by the Rebels. The action commenced in the morning; My command remained in line and continued in position, firing with great rapidity and energy in the face of a deadly fire of the enemy ...

     

    I recd. Your letter of the 26th ult and immediately made a personal application to the Secy of War in your behalf ... I have been compelled to meet other enemies than them rebels, and it is a source of some satisfaction to me, that I have been able to bear myself through it without discredit. You have been long enough in service to see and appreciate the intense jealousies which pervade the Army, and imperil reputations in the most serious manner....   J.H. Martindale

     

    Aug. 13, 1862

    ... The ladies of Brighton having A Banner in Progress which they intend to Present to Your Regiment ask you to address them giving your whereabouts ... so that the Banner can be properly presented ...



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