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    Description

    [Civil War]. William Noble Archive. A small archive relating to General William H. Noble (1813-1894), including the following:

    17th Connecticut Volunteers Gettysburg Reunion Booklets (2). Two 8vo. booklets, Bridgeport, Connecticut: The Standard Association, Printers, 1884 and 1889.

    A carte de visite of Noble. 2.5" x 4", Bridgeport, Connecticut; no date. Produced by Partridge photography studio, with a standing shot of Noble in full military dress. Noble is standing with his hat in his hand, with a woodland scenery backdrop.

    Three Circulars for the 17th Connecticut Volunteers. All measuring 8" x 10", dated October 10, 1862 and February 16, 1863. The first two are concerning appointments to Color Bearers in the Color Guard, while the later circular concerns dress for on parade.

    Retained Copies of Promotion Recommendations. Noble was greatly respected by his fellow officers, as evidenced by this packet of reference letters, of which there are five in total. The recommendations date from January 6 to January 29, 1864, praising Noble's conduct and submitting him for promotion. From January 6, 1864, one page, 7.75" x 9.75, Gustavus Blair, Captain and Acting Major wrote (in part): "Col. I consider it my duty to testify to your distinguished conduct on the battlefield of Chancellorsville VA May 2nd 1863, and cannot help acknowledging your bravery displayed on that occasion. Myself as well as the commanding officers have to my knowledge paid the greatest admiration to the discharge of your duties in the action and the wound you received in this engagement must prove better than words could your behavior in these times".

    Noble was born in 1813 in Newton, Connecticut, the son of an Episcopal minister and educator. He graduated from Yale in 1832 and was admitted to the bar in 1836. He served as county clerk of Fairfield County and later as state's attorney from 1846. The 1850s found him developing the East Bridgeport land that he inherited from his father. At the outbreak of the Civil War Noble, a Democrat, felt very strongly that the Union must be preserved and worked to organize the Union movement in Connecticut. In strong contrast to his party, Noble believed Lincoln was the nation's best chance to preserve the Union. Much of his commentary about senior officers and politics is within the context of their loyalty to the Union cause and the complete abolition of slavery.

    On July 22, 1862, William Noble was commissioned as colonel of the 17th Connecticut Volunteers. It became known as the "Fairfield County Regiment" and was the only regiment from the state to be recruited from one county. Though a lawyer with no experience as a soldier, he served throughout the war with bravery, efficiency, and distinction. At Chancellorsville against Stonewall Jackson, his horse was killed from under him and Noble was wounded in the arm and leg. He returned to Bridgeport to recover, but left his sick bed to command his troops at Gettysburg where he lost 206 men. He was then sent to Fort Wagner in South Carolina, and later to Florida where, on Christmas Eve of 1864, he was captured by Confederate scouts and sent to the notorious Andersonville Prison. He was the highest ranking Union officer confined there. Later in his life, he would refer to that infamous place as a snakepit, often shuddering and cursing as he talked about it. He was paroled from there on April 8, 1865, having been recently breveted a brigadier general in the Union Army by U.S. Grant for his meritorious service on March 13th. Noble mustered out on July 19, 1865 with his troops and returned home in impaired health.

    Condition: Items range from very good to very fine. The recommendation letters have usual mail folds, with very light toning at the edges. The CDV is lightly toned, with some slight rubbing at the top edge; this does not affect Noble's portrait. The circulars are lightly toned throughout, and the mail folds have cause some small separations at the edges where weakness occurred. The two booklets have toned and slightly chipped covers, with some areas of dampstaining, but the inside pages are good.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2018
    25th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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