Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Union Drummer James Henderson (Co. "E", 90th New York Volunteers) Archive. Contains a linen drum sling with leather mounts, diaries, scrapbook, tintypes, and other miscellaneous newspaper articles. The young musician kept a detailed record of his service during the Civil War by writing a diary and collecting newspaper articles. In his pocket diary (3.5" x 6"), he recorded in one-line entries daily events beginning June 1, 1862, while "stationed Key West" and ending December 8, 1864. He has written on the first page, "Memoranda of James Henderson Co. E. 90th Regt. N.Y.S.V. Carrollton [?]." Two examples from his entries: "Comet at night. Niggers seized to take care of the Sick and work for Government. Yellow Fever Raging [August 24]"; "Arrived at Washington saw Old Abe. Regt cheered him left Washington. Passed through Georgetown. Had passed the White House, Treasury Building [July 13, 1864]." At the end of the diary, Henderson has written a series of lists, including "Towns Cities etc. of which I passed through [from the states of South Carolina, Florida, Louisiana, Virginian, Maryland, Pennsylvania]." He has also included a list of "Money sent Home" by month. Also, a list of "Generals under whom I have served," including "Lieut. General U. S. Grant" along with a list of "Battles skirmishes" in which he participated. The diary is intact, though the leather wrappers are worn.

    On December 13, 1864, shortly after returning home from the war, Henderson copied his diary into a lined notebook (5.75" x 7.25"), which is included. Written on the front pastedown, "James Henderson Enlisted in the United States Service December 5, 1861, Discharged Dec 6th 1864 Co. E 90th N.Y.S. Vols." Written on the front free endpaper, "Memoranda of James Henderson commencing from June 1st 1862 ending Decr. 8th 1864 kept while in the War of 1861. Copied Dec. 13th, 1864." The pages of this notebook have become unbound.

    In another lined notebook (5.5" x 11.5"), Henderson has created a scrapbook by affixing various newspaper articles about his 90th Regiment. Most of the articles are from newspapers printed after the war reporting on the numerous reunions of the regiment; many of them are about Henderson. The first pages of the scrapbook, though, contain articles printed during the war. Some of those articles are printings of general and special orders for the 90th, while others are articles about Union and Confederate troop movements, obituaries, and lists of the dead. A folded, fragile copy of the October 11, 1862, edition of the New Era of Key West, Florida, is included. The notebook, labeled "Scraps" on the front cover, was put together after the war. Still bound in brown, stiff covers, the scrapbook offers an interesting history of the 90th Regiment during the war, as well as after the war.

    Also included in the archive are two tintypes of the young Henderson. (1) 1/9 plate tintype portrait framed of the young seventeen-year-old Henderson wearing an early 1861 New York State shell jacket with kepi. Fine quality and condition. (2) 1/4 plate tintype (no frame) of Henderson wearing his shell jacket and kepi while holding his drum, suspended from his wide linen sling, to his right side. His drumsticks are held in his left hand by his side.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 845

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 11 days left to consign to the 2020 March 29 Vintage Guitars & Musical Instruments Musical Instruments Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,016,674