Nov 25, 2014 - Sale 2368

Sale 2368 - Lot 70

Price Realized: $ 2,080
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 800 - $ 1,200
(CIVIL WAR--CONNECTICUT.) Huxham, Samuel. Diary of a corporal in the Nutmeg Regiment at Chancellorsville. [40] manuscript diary pages plus [6] pages of memoranda. 24mo, original cloth, minor wear; unusually well preserved for a field diary; inscribed on front pastedown. Vp, 2 February to 28 May 1863

Additional Details

Samuel Huxham, an English immigrant to Middletown, CT, was naturalized in 1859, and in August 1862 enlisted in the 14th Connecticut Infantry--the famed Nutmeg Regiment. He left behind a wife and two-month old Samuel Junior. The diary begins several months into his service, after his promotion to corporal, while he was sick in a field hospital in Virginia. He frequently notes his correspondence with his wife, once mentioning that "ten cents was enclosed for my son Samuel Huxham" (15 February). On 18 March he was granted a two-week furlough: "I staid at home all day with my dear wife and boy, bless his little heart. Oh, how I do love him" (25 March). His diary as an active-duty soldier begins on 31 March and at first is largely uneventful--he sees "a good many graybacks" across the river while on picket on 2 April and serves as a sharpshooter for a road-building expedition on 28 April.
The regiment was engaged at Chancellorsville in the first days of May: "The Rebels attacked us. After a half an hours fight we were compelled to retreat to our reserves" (3 May). It ended ignominiously on 6 May: "This morning at 3 o'clock we were ordered to retreat across the river, which we did, and occupied our old camp at Falmouth." Next up for the regiment was Gettysburg. Corporal Huxham's service there is well-known in the lore of the 14th Connecticut. On the last day of the battle, his company was deployed on a skirmish line along Emmettsburg Road just prior to facing Pickett's Charge, lying down behind a rail fence, and the smoke was so thick that the soldiers could not see their comrades, but kept up a steady banter to be sure everyone was still safe. When Huxham fell silent, a soldier crawled over to his position and found that he had stood to fire over the fence and had been shot in the head by a sharpshooter (C.D. Page, History of the Fourteenth Regiment, page 143). Corporal Huxham never had the chance to describe Gettysburg in his diary.
with--a receipt for a gravestone made out to Mrs. Huxham, September 1864 carte-de-visite of George Heller (relationship unknown) and a small mounted tintype of Corporal Huxham's beloved son Samuel Huxham Jr.