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    Civil War Officer's Field Desk with Contents. Once the property of Captain Charles A. Holmes, Co. F, 29th Wisconsin Infantry, measures 24" x 19" x 13", of sturdy construction, a classic example of the desk used by officers in the field. Front pulls down to form a writing surface with the interior separated into fifteen compartments, shelves, and cubby holes.

    Charles Allen Holmes was born in Lockport, Illinois on June 6, 1840, the eldest son of John Edwin Holmes, the first Lieutenant Governor of Wisconsin who would later serve as quartermaster and captain in the 22nd Wisconsin during the Civil War (he was captured near Brentwood Station and spent six weeks in Libby Prison, but died shortly after his release in a prisoner exchange). The family moved to Wisconsin when Charles was three. Holmes attended Carroll College and Lombard University. In 1862, following his graduation, he enlisted in the U. S. Army and received a captain's commission in the 29th Wisconsin Infantry. He was present during the Vicksburg campaign, the capture of Mobile, Alabama (the 29th Wisconsin, along with the 8th Illinois, were the first to enter the city), suffered wounds at the Battle of Champion Hills, and served as a J. A. G. officer before he was mustered out in June, 1865. After the war, he returned to Wisconsin and practiced law until 1871 where he was appointed Postmaster of Jefferson, Wisconsin, by President Ulysses S. Grant. He was elected to the U. S. Legislature in 1874 and in 1886 to the Wisconsin State Senate.

    The desk is filled with hundreds of documents spanning the years 1845 through 1915. The bulk of the material is war dated, 1862-1865, and deals mostly with the 29th Wisconsin. They include: muster rolls and regimental returns; quarterly returns for "Clothing, Camp & Garrison Equipage"; Ordinance and ordinance return reports; printed orders, 1863-1865; printed courts martial documents; a handwritten essay, "Chronological History of 29th Wisconsin"; three sets of captain's epaulettes or shoulder marks; several booklets from the 29th Wisconsin Regiment Reunion; and others.

    Miscellaneous documents located within include: two Freemasonry commissions, an appointment to Representative of the Grand Lodge of Washington Territory and a commission of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the State of Wisconsin; letters, mostly mundane and written well after the war; newspapers, such as The New York Weekly News, Vol. I, No. 44, dated July 2, 1844, about the life of Andrew Jackson printed shortly after his death, and The Pictorial Rail Splitter, dated September 3, 1860, containing short biographies of presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln and his running mate, Hannibal Hamlin; two books, "Biographical Manual of the Twentieth Legislature of Nebraska" and "A Few Incidents in the Life of Jay M. Hurd"; a handwritten essay titled, "Educational Fallacies"; a booklet titled, "Life and Character of John E. Holmes"; court proceedings; an interesting notebook containing astronomical data from 1861 (presumably when Holmes was attending university); and others.

    A fantastic piece of Civil War history whose contents are worthy of further research.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2012
    9th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,365

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