Description

    Three Civil War Diaries of Union Lieutenant Whiting M. Wetherell for the years 1862, 1864, and 1865, along with two tintypes and a carte de visit. The three diaries begin on January 1, 1862, with entries recording the daily life of Wetherell and his family around his Mechanicsville, Iowa, farm. Life changed for them, however, in July when he attended a "war meeting in Evening, signed muster Roll with 8 others." He left home, with his brother John, in August at the age of twenty-six as a private with Company H of the Iowa 35th Infantry. He was promoted often. The 1862 diary records that the regiment joined General Grant at the Vicksburg Campaign.

    In the 1864 diary, Wetherell chronicles his regiment's movements as they marched from the Red River Campaign in Louisiana through Arkansas and Tennessee. The soldier records the battles that he fought, including the bloody Battle of Nashville (December 15-16). Wetherell's entry on the 16th reads, "Deploy'd Co. H as skirmishers & advanced. At Daylight advanced over a mile & found the Enemy entrenched. Artillery firing most of AM. 4th Corps made a charge in AM. Grand charge by whole army at 4 P.M. 1st Div captured 8 Guns & 3000. 3rd Brig. got 4 Pieces several more wounded but none killed. . . . Camped near the Hills in Rebel Camp-they fled towards Franklin."

    From his 1865 diary, we learn that the regiment moved into Alabama during the Spring of 1865, marching into Mobile on April 12, three days after General Lee's surrender at Appomattox. There, Lt. Wetherell and his regiment "raised the Flag" and received official "sums of the great battle in Virginia that we had part of Lee's army." Nine days later, "200 Guns [were] fired in honor of Lee & Johnson." Joy, however, turned to sorrow as Wetherell records on April 26, partially erroneously, that a "Report came of the death of Lincoln & Seward by Violence." Wetherell mustered out of service on May 31, 1865, in New Orleans. The leather cover of the 1865 diary exhibits vermin holes; the other two exhibit gentle wearing. Two diary covers have detached, but are present. Pages are clean. Also included are two tintypes (one picturing two Union soldiers and the other picturing a seated gentleman) and one carte de visite (picturing a man identified on the verso as "Mr. J. Huffy[?]."


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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