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    Description

    Union Surgeon John D. Heritage Archive, 1863-1865. This archive includes a Civil War-dated carte de visite, a letter, and other documents-including those related to Dr. Heritage's time as a POW in Libby Prison. The CDV, which features the young doctor in military uniform, exhibits some stains and wear and is affixed to a larger sheet of paper. The letter (eight pages, 5" x 8", "Near Petersburg," August 24 [1864]), written to his father only weeks before being captured by Confederates, includes information on colored troops, battle information (frontline action during the Siege of Petersburg), an analysis of Lincoln's main generals (McClellan, Hooker, Burnside, Meade, and Grant), and comments on the upcoming presidential election of 1864. Following are some excerpts:

    "We relieved the Colored troops and they do not appear to keep the best cleanest works in the line and smelled rather strong not a niggery smell but refuse matter of all kinds. . . . The Rebs fought hard and stubbornly down on the Left . . . but were slaughtered by our artillery and cut up by the troops most terribly when they charged which they did repeatedly and were as often repulsed. They have now left the front of the 5th Corps and gone somewhere I suppose to make a sudden attack. . . . [We] are beginning to make them feel the lightening of Grants firm grasp-and when he does get hold of a place he holds on like a bull dog and if any example of him is needed the bull dog is the one. I do think he is the most tenacious commander when he has made his mind up. . . . McClellan if he had only had force enough to have entirely surrounded them might possibly have went to Richmond. Hooker planned a battle well. . . . Burnside didn't appear to have any . . . [illegible] definite idea as to what he was going to do or how he was going to do it. Meade conceived well and fought his men well but lacked self reliance. Grant tries on way until he finds he can't win and tries another."

    New Jersey native John D. Heritage enlisted in the New Jersey 11th Infantry in May 1863. Confederates captured him at Reams' Station, Virginia, in 1864 and sent him to Libby Prison in Richmond. Documents from his time as a Confederate POW are included: two Special Orders for POW Parolee J. D. Heritage to proceed to his regiment (both dated September 1864); a wartime Confederate carbon copy certifying that "prisoner Surgeon John D. Heritage U.S.A. has been engaged in attending to the wounded Federal Prisoners at this Hospital for the last three days that being sent to Permanent Hospital he is now released. [Signed] Henry D. Fraser / Surgeon CSA / In charge of 3rd Corps Hospl"; true copy of a payment order from Libby Prison to J. D. Heritage (September 1, 1864).

    Other war-dated documents are also included: New Jersey Adjutant General R. F. Stockton ALS commissioning Dr. Heritage as an assistant surgeon (May 15, 1863); two military passes (both 1865); various other official military letters and orders (all dated 1864-1865); numerous contemporary carbon copies of orders (including an 1864 list of "Federal wounded"); excised signature of Union General Joseph B. Carr; and other documents. Dr. Heritage mustered out in June 1865. Overall, this archive has been well cared for. Some soiling to pages and separations along some folds.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2014
    3rd Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 420

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