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    Description

    Uniform and Document Archive Belonging to Lt. Volney A. Gray, 9th Maine Infantry Volunteers. An historically significant group belonging to Volney A. Gray, a resident of Sangerville, Maine, who enlisted in the Union army on September 21, 1861 as a corporal. After his initial three-year enlistment, he re-enlisted on January 1, 1864. During his tenure in the army, he served in the Maine 9th Infantry Regiment, spending his time in several companies within the regiment. He rose from the rank of corporal to his final rank of 1st lieutenant. His official records indicate that he was wounded at some point during 1863, but the records do not indicate either the date or place he sustained his wound. The 9th Maine participated in the Petersburg campaign and fought in engagements that included Drewery's Bluff, Cold Harbor, and the Battle of the Crater in Petersburg. Losses during this campaign were severe and by the fall of 1864, the regiment was so small, (about 300), that there was talk of combining the 8th and 9th Maine. After the Petersburg and Richmond campaign, the 9th was sent to North Carolina where it participated in the pursuit of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston and was present for General Johnston's surrender on April 26, 1865.

    Included in the lot is Gray's blue wool frock coat complete with all nine front buttons. The eagle infantry buttons are 23mm, with "D. Evans and Co/ Attleboro, Mass" backmarks [Albert 88A]. Completing the jacket are two cuff buttons and four tail buttons of similar design. The jacket is fully lined with quilted black cotton cloth. This frock coat is in fine condition exhibiting a few very minor and tiny moth holes that you have to look very hard to find. With the jacket is a set of 1st lieutenant's shoulder insignia. The insignia is the typical heavy bullion wire with a light blue (infantry) velvet center. This pair of shoulder insignia look to have never been sewn on.

    With the group is Gray's appointment document to 1st Sergeant. The document measures 13.25" x 9.75", mounted and framed under glass to an overall size of 18.5" x 16.5", on a 9th Regiment of the Maine Infantry Volunteers printed document, dated September 5, 1864, "near Petersburg, Virginia". The document is toned overall from age and has been folded. There are two small holes at the intersection of the central folds, else it is in very good condition. Gray's discharge, 8.5" x 11", mounted and framed under glass to an overall size of 14.25" x 16.5", on a printed document, dated July 13, 1865, Raleigh, North Carolina. The document is toned but is in very good condition.

    Lt. Gray's diary for 1864 is also included. The leather diary measures 3" x 6.75" and has pre-printed dates at the top of each of its pages. Gray's diary begins on January 1, 1864 with the mention of his re-enlistment at Black Island, South Carolina but doesn't begin in earnest until April and May when he returns to his regiment and they take up positions around Petersburg. Gray describes many actions and skirmishes throughout the period. The entry for Monday May, 23, 1864 reads: "Occassional shots between pickets. Enemy very active building fortifications in front of us. Reconniance [sic] made to the enemys [sic] rifle pits by our Regt. after dark, and had a sharp skirmish for a few moments in which we lost 15 killed and wounded." Gray becomes sick on June 24, 1864 and describes his hospital stay in pitiful entries through August 13, 1864. A sample of just a few entries from the period: "Weather hot and sultry, being very bad for wounded men and also sick. Died at a rate of 5 per day in the hospital here...Very hot about 200 wounded arrive from the front, wounded in the charge of 30th of July...Hot and sultry again, a great many of the sick and wounded dies, an average of 10 per day bereaved...". Gray mentions the election of 1864. November 7, 1864" Election in the Regt. resulting in a majority for A. Lincoln, President, 293 Republican, 54 Democrats." Laid in the dairy is a one page letter to Gray dated March 5, 1866, from an F. A. Newberry, Magnolia, North Carolina inquiring after his health and thanking him for treating the citizens of Magnolia well while in his official capacity. "We all will remember you with feelings of kindness for your protection while acting in your official capacity for to you and your brave boys alone are we indebted for even shelter to us and ours. We are all left comparatively poor, but be assured dear Sir your gentlemanly conduct while in our village will be ever remembered. I said to you while here that I had always been a "Union" man such is the fact although my sentiments had to remain within my own heart or with my family in order to retain even life itself to say nothing about property". Included are two Civil War letters, not written by or to Gray with interesting content. One letter dated November 22, 1862 is from a soldier in the 9th Maine to his mother and the other is a letter dated April 11, 1863 from a soldier in the 14th Vermont Infantry to his brother. This identified group would be an important addition to a private collection or museum.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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