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    Description

    Absolutely the most extensive, comprehensive, and historically important Civil War enlisted man's diary we've ever seen.

    Civil War Diary Kept by Obediah Sherman Boyden, Co. K, 2d New Jersey Inf. covering the period from Boyden's enlistment on May 28, 1861 to his discharge on June 21, 1864. Literally a book waiting to be published, there are 725 5" X 8" pages, about evenly split between ink and pencil script, with many of the pages being patriotic stationary sheets. Absolutely written by Boyden in the field, as the events were occurring and not a post war compilation as is so often the case. The entries are a day by day, in many cases hour by hour, chronicle of Boyden's experiences during the war, with a regiment that was heavily engaged from 1st Bull Run to Appomattox, losing 96 men killed and mortally wounded. During Boyden's term of service the regt. fought at 1st Bull Run, The Seven Days, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania, with many smaller actions in between, all of which are described by Boyden in minute detail. Beautifully written by a very literate man, including the places he marched and camped, personal vignettes, illustrations and, of course, remarkable accounts of some of the fiercest fighting of the war. To list "highlights" would require a separate catalog but suffice it to say that virtually every page contains commentary that would bring $300 -$500 as a separate Civil War letter, and many pages of substantially greater Importance and value, truly remarkable.

    Also included is a 16 page pencil log apparently kept by Boyden as a list of distances marched and places the regiment passed through. This covers the period May 28, 1861 to May 27, 1864. At the back is a complete list of the men in Boyden's company dated May 29, 1861 which he apparently maintained throughout his service with notations as to each man's disposition e.g. "Wounded and died Crampton's Pass Sept. 16th" etc. The entire diary was at one point bound together on the left edge with hand stitching. It is now in several parts but there are no missing pages. All entries are bright, crisp and fully legible. Also included is Boyden's eagle masthead discharge, a CDV of Boyden with huge handlebar mustache, Newark, N. J. backmark, wearing frock coat with corporal's stripes and holding bummer's cap. Also a 4¼" X 4¾" printed handbill titled "Fighting for the Nigger" explaining that Federal forces simply want to remove Negroes as a labor source for the south and are not actually 'fighting for the Nigger', a remarkable little document. The entire group in excellent condition and one of the most important personal eyewitness Civil War narratives ever to come to light.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,465

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