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    Description

    Civil War Archive of "Co. D", 6th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry. An unusually complete archive of an infantry company as maintained by its last Captain, John W. Hanscom. The Captain's discharge certificates survive here and indicate that he enlisted as a Private for three-years in 1861, rose to Sergeant, re-enlisted for 3 more years, was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in 1864 and finished the war a Captain. Hanscom's records constitute approximately 215 documents, mostly partially printed forms dating to the last year of the Civil War. The 6th New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry was organized at Keene, NH on November 27, 1861. The regiment saw extensive combat service in both Eastern and Western theaters of the Civil War, with their earliest foray into Confederate territory being the expeditions against Hatteras Inlet, Roanoke Island and New Bern in North Carolina. They were next sent to the killing fields of Virginia and Maryland where they participated in the horrific battles of Second Manassas, Antietam and Fredericksburg.

    Mid-war found the 6th NH at the Siege of Vicksburg and, later, garrisoned at Camp Nelson, Kentucky. Life at Camp Nelson, near Lexington, proved only a brief respite as the regiment was soon thrown into the carnage at Spottsylvania, The Wilderness, Petersburg and Appomattox. Following Lee's surrender, the 6th NH did garrison duty in and around Washington,D.C.until being mustered out on July 17, 1865.

    The papers maintained by Captain Hanscom include the following highlights: Muster roll, 2 pages, 29.0" x 32.0" flat, July 17, 1865. 70 officers and men are recorded on this roll along with their vital military information such as date and place of enlistment, date of last pay, etc. The verso shows company members who had mustered out -or died - at earlier dates. This document has several long splits along folds per usual. (In fact, muster rolls quite often are seen with antique tape reinforcement because fragile creases are common); 3 Discharge Certificates for John W. Hanscom, each 8.5" x 11.0", 1863-1865; Hanscom's commission as 2nd Lieutenant, 17.0" x 14.0", March 3, 1864; Several forms detailing desertions and hospitalizations; An excellent ADS by Captain Hanscom, 2 pages, 8.5" x 11.0", Near Poplar Grove Church, VA, October 3, 1864. It reads partially, "...I certify on honor that on the 30th day of September 1864 near Poplar Grove Church VA, the Stores enumerated below were lost under the following circumstances. The regiment to which my Company belongs was directed to advance under the fire of the enemy to take a certain position, in so doing, Two privates and Two non-commissioned officers, were missing. The arms carried by all these men were left on the field, as we were repulsed, and they could not be recovered. The following is the list of Stores so abandoned. Four Springfield R. Muskets Cal .58. Four Bayonet Scabbards. Four Cap Pouches and cone picks. Four Cartridge Boxes..."

    Approximately 100 "Descriptive Lists", one page with verso docketing, mostly 19.0" x 10.5" flat. These forms describe individual soldier's in great detail, giving their name, rank, physical characteristics, civilian occupation, date of enlistment and the like. Of particular interest are those soldiers described as substitutes for a draftee; 21 Equipment Vouchers, one page with verso docketing, 8.5" x 11.0" flat. Described equipment that was lost, abandoned, borrowed, or broken; 6 documents, one page with docketing, 8.5" x 11.0" flat. These papers name individal soldiers and the furloughs they are being given; 15 documents pertaining to military hospitals and sick soldiers. 1-2 pages, mostly 8.5" x 11.0", these documents deal either with individual soldiers or form descriptive lists of several infirm men; 9 monthly returns, 15.5" x 10.0" flat. These monthly returns record the strength of a company, giving details as to those absent, sick, or deceased; 19 Muster In and Out Rolls for individual soldiers, one page with docketing, 10.5" x 28.5" flat. These documents contain the enlistment and release dates - with comments - for individual soldiers; 19 blank documents of the varieties listed above; 6 personal papers, all post-war, pertaining to Captain John W. Hanscom. Included here is correspondence related to Hanscom's military pension and two deeds. The items in this archive average Very Fine condition.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
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