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    Description

    Late War Archive Pertaining to Massachusetts Infantry Lieutenant. Consists of over 30 war date letters, varied ephemera and a few images. These effects belonged to Nathaniel H. Talbot, who enlisted as a private in Co. "D", 43rd Massachusetts Infantry on August 25, 1862. His regiment primarily saw service in eastern North Carolina, being based in New Bern. After briefly being assigned to the Army of the Potomac following Gettysburg, the regiment was mustered out. Talbot re-enlisted as a 2nd Lieutenant with Co. "B", 58th Massachusetts Infantry on June 4, 1864. He would emerge from the war a 1st Lieutenant, having been heavily engaged at Petersburg and in the subsequent pursuit of General Lee. Only one of Lieutenant Talbot's letters dates to his mid-war term with the 43rd Massachusetts in North Carolina. The bulk of the written material here was composed during the spring and early summer of 1865. One four-page letter home, possibly incomplete, is worthy of particular mention since it is a graphic four-page recounting of combat just before Petersburg's fall. Penned from Farmville, Virginia on April 12, 1865 it reads in small part: "...ever since I got out here this time one could see that important movements wer going on. Our Army was moving & was on the alert all the time...Our pickets were doubled and Capt Hinchly was sent out with orders to charge the reb picket lines and hold them at all hazard...the air was full of shells, a Captain of a Battery said he was at the siege of Vicksburg and it was nothing compared with this...about 2 oclock an order came for us to move....we did so and found lines of battle we took our place and soon got the order forward we moved along over our works to our picket line then came the order to charge and with a cheer forward we went over the reb picket line right up to their forts the bullets wer whizzing past us and shells burst around us...several shells came so near me that the wind of them would have taken my hat off had it not been fastened on...I crawled along the ground over dead bodies and pieces of meat that the grape shots had torn out of men...Maj. Peckham of the general's staff came along and told me to fall in the 58th in there as soon as possible as the rebs were going to charge I turned around to look for the men and saw him fall shot through the head...things looked rather dark then and the most of them thought it was going to be another 30th of July...". The letter has minor splits on folds and stains on its central panel. Overall the condition of the correspondence here is good. Though not pristine, the letters remain sound and easily readable. Associated military items in this archive include a 1st Lieutenant's shoulder strap from Talbot's uniform; CDVs of Camp Rogers in New Bern and Talbot's quarters in Petersburg; a 43rd Massachusetts unstamped postal cover addressed to Talbot; an unused Union patriotic cover; an 1861 Army hymnal with paper wraps; and, an 1871 reunion program for the 58th Massachusetts veterans. In addition to the above, several civilian items are included such as an 1850s account book; two nearly blank post-war pocket diaries; a 1/6 plate daguerreotype of a gentleman; a 1/6 plate tintype of a gentleman; several letters spanning the 1870s - 1930s; two early 19th c. pocket schoolboy primers and an 1846 songbook. The books and daguerreotype are in poor condition, however the tintype and letters enjoy excellent preservation. As a whole, this is a worthy archive associated with an experienced Union line officer.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2008
    20th-21st Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 12
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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