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    2nd Lieutenant David W. Montgomery, 11th Ohio Independent Battery, Light Artillery Archive. Approximately 60 letters and documents, with at least 35 war-dated letters written by Montgomery. The collection relates to Montgomery's service in the Ohio 11th Independent Battery, Light Artillery and spans the years 1860 to 1902, the bulk of which date between 1861 and 1865.

    Montgomery enlisted at the age of 18 as a Private on September 11, 1861. On October 27 he was mustered into Ohio 11th Light Artillery and served with them until November 5, 1864. During the course of his service he was promoted to the rank of sergeant and then 2nd lieutenant (although never mustered).

    The majority of Montgomery's letters are addressed to his parents and sister, sharing reports and his experiences of the war as a member of the Artillery. In a letter, dated February 6, 1862, Montgomery writes that he had been suffering from a "most awful cold" which had possibly turned into bronchitis. In his next letter home he is quick to reassure his family of his well-being and shares news of the capture of Fort Donelson: "St. Louis, Missouri February 20th 1862... Thinking that you would feel somewhat uneasy after reading the contents of my last letter, though it best to inform you that I am again enjoying a good state of health and feel 50% better than I did two weeks ago and am now on my way to Kentucky by way of the river... I suppose you have heard of the capture of fort dolenson [sic] and the two forts also the capture of Gen. Price and 1,000 of his men..." Letter is lightly toned with mail folds and an ink transfer marks.

    The first action that the 11th Ohio Independent Battery saw was at the Battle of New Madrid (March 13, 1862). Montgomery's letters home shares in great detail the experience of battle, and the horrific aftermath. In a March 16, 1862, from New Madrid, Missouri (three pages, 7" x 9.25") he wrote to his sister (in part): "I marched with the rest of the boys belonging to the Battery to the battlefield on Thursday morning at the early hour of four o'clock. And after the Regiments had formed into line of battle. They opened fire upon us at half past five, the compliment was returned but by a ball of smaller size...the balls flew both ways for some time (probably an hour) when our Gen. (whose name is Hamilton) ordered us to retreat back about a hundred yds and get out of the range of their Gun Boats - we was just on the point of obeying the command when a cannon ball weighing 32 lbs come humming over my shoulder about six inches from my "topknot" and killed a friend of mine by the name of James Bibby who was about two feet ahead of me...we passed one of the hospitals and suppose I must of seen nearly two dozen of arms and legs which had been amputated that day and just throwed [sic] out of the widow. Jennie it was a hard site [sic] to see but still I got so I didn't mind it..." Toned and creased at mail folds, written in pencil.

    It seems that Montgomery had numerous brushes with death during his service in the war. His letter, (four pages, 5" x 7.75") dated October 14, 1862, details his close call while fighting near Corinth, Mississippi, (in part): "On Friday morning, Oct the 3rd the 11th Ohio Battery was on the battlefield, done no firing that day (but lay under fire all day), on the morning of the 4th the "Ball" opened by the enemy firing...both partys [sic] held their ground for three hours and done some pretty hard fighting, several bullets passed my head pretty close although I came off of the field without a scratch, pants scorched a little by a cannon ball which passed very close to my leg..." Letter toned and creased along mail folds, else fine.

    This is an extensive archive that a detailed and graphic perspective into the experience of Montgomery during the war, particularly of his experiences on the battlefield. The collection also includes documents such as Montgomery's certificate of marriage, a deed to a cemetery plot, a list of non-commissioned officers in the 11th Independent Battery, and a small booklet of the "Rules and Regulations of the Society of the 11th Ohio Battery together with the Proceedings of the First Reunion held Wednesday. September 12, 1888". There is also a lead and glass case that houses a newspaper clipping that details the 11th Ohio's service during the Battle of Iuka.

    The archive is housed in two binders. Overall the condition ranges from good to near fine. All letters have creases from mail folds, some include the original transmittal cover. Slight toning or foxing on some letters, and there are usual stains or signs of wear on some letters.

    More Information:

    Eleventh Independent Battery Light Artillery - This battery was mustered into service October 27, 1861, at St. Louis arsenal, Missouri by Lieutenant George B. Sanford, 1st U.S. cavalry, to serve for three years, aggregating 151 men, rank and file.  Its first actual service was with the new Madrid expedition, from which it brought in 2 Confederate 6-pounder guns as trophies of its success, and then it remained in camp until April 12, improving the time by drilling in field maneuvers. During the siege, and in the battles and skirmishes resulting in the evacuation of Corinth, the battery bore its full share.  In September it went into action at Iuka, 102 strong, and during the engagement was charged three different times, suffering a loss of 2 officers and 55 men killed or wounded, 18 being killed on the field and others dying afterward. Not a man flinched and numbers were killed or wounded after the Confederates had passed the muzzles of the guns, some of them nobly dying in the attempt to spike their pieces.  As severely as the battery suffered in this engagement in the loss of men and equipment, it was in a short time again ready for the field and took a prominent part in the battle of Corinth, nobly maintaining its reputation for efficiency and gallantry and suffering a loss of 5 men wounded during the action.  During the siege of Vicksburg it was held in reserve and participated in several expeditions to the rear, fighting as occasion required.  On the day of the capitulation, it was camped at Snyder's bluff on the Yazoo River. The battery was mustered out on November 5, 1864.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
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