This is 20 year old Rasmus Lee Hopson of Troup County Georgia, probably taken soon after he enlisted in July 1861. I expect the sword is a photographer’s prop, as may be the uniform he’s wearing.

Private Hopson survived a wound at Sharpsburg in 1862 but was disabled for field service and spent the last year or more of the war detailed to enrolling duties back in Troup County, GA.

Almost 100 years after he enlisted, Mrs Thomas Spencer of the Agnes Lee Chapter, United Daughters of the Confederacy in Decatur, GA got him a government marker for his grave in Hogansville, though he already had a basic headstone.

She was a little off on his service particulars, but the Army clerk got them right.

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Hopson’s photograph was contributed to his Findagrave memorial by Mike Moon.

His marker application is from Headstone Applications for Military Veterans, 1925-1970 from the National Archives via Ancestry.com.

20 year old William Elmer Thorp enlisted in the 21st New York Infantry – the First Buffalo Regiment – in May 1861, was wounded at Antietam in September 1862, and mustered out with his regiment in May 1863, their two year term of service expired.

He enlisted again, though, in the US Navy in August 1864 at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. He served a year or less, as a Landsman aboard USS North Carolina and USS Princeton – both receiving and training ships.

North Carolina may have been bolted to the pier at the New York Navy Yard in 1864, but was a top warship, a 74-gun ship of the line, all sail, when on active service between 1820 and about 1840.

The first USS Princeton, launched in 1843, was the Navy’s first screw steam warship, but had an unhappy history (see “Explosion of the Peace-maker“) and was scrapped as too expensive to maintain in 1849.

Landsman Thorpe’s Princeton, seen here in about 1853, was the second of her name, a clipper-built steamship launched in 1852. Some of the timbers of the first Princeton were used in her hull. She saw active service off the Eastern US and in the Caribbean from 1853 – 1855, then was stationed at Philadelphia as a receiving ship from 1857 to her sale in 1866.

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William’s carte de visite photograph above is from the New York State Military Museum, online among the New York Heritage digital collections.

These fine ship images are online thanks to the US Naval History and Heritage Command.

North Carolina is a photograph of a watercolor from the 1820s “attributed to Warren (?), and Princeton is of a daguerreotype from the 1850s; the original is in the Mackay Collection, international Museum of Photography at George Eastman House, Rochester, NY.

Joseph S Hayden of Company E, 13th Georgia Infantry survived a slight wound at Sharpsburg in 1862 but was mortally wounded and captured at Gettysburg in 1863.

Here are the two pages of notes US Surgeon Newcombe kept about Hayden’s treatment in the hospital at Camp Letterman up to his death on 30 August 1863. I found these among his Compiled Service Records, National Archives, online from fold3. Touch to enlarge.

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Dr. James Newcombe was Acting Assistant Surgeon, US Army and in charge of a ward in the General Hospital at Camp Letterman near Gettysburg, PA by August 1863 and to at least October 1863. He was probably a contract physician with the Army and may have been the James Newcombe who graduated from medical school at Victoria College, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada in 1860.

Here’s an artifact concerning Sharpsburg veteran Lieutenant John Nimrod Ferguson, 13th Georgia Infantry, while he was a prisoner at Point Lookout, MD. He’d been wounded at Monocacy Junction and captured in July 1864 on Early’s raid.

Ferguson survived the war and was Constable of Shiloh in Union Parish, LA when he was murdered in 1887 at age 49.

This telegram form is among the papers which make up his Compiled Service Records at the National Archives, and is online thanks to fold3. It is a fascinating look into a corner of the late-war prisoner exchange system. My transcription below.

United States Military Telegraph.
By Telegraph from Washington DC
Dated Sept 29 3.48 P 1864
To Brig Genl Barnes

By authority of the Secy of War you will please send by this evenings Boat to Fort Monroe First Lieut J. N. Ferguson 13th Georgia to be delivered to the senior Naval Officer at Hampton Roads for exchange.

Send him under a guard. Reply [Respectfully?]

W. Hoffman
C.G.P.

Lt. Benj F Southwick
Co. C. 5th Mass

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Notes on the document

The commanding officer at Point Lookout was Brigadier General James Barnes. He was previously Colonel of the 18th Massachusetts and commanded a Brigade in the Fifth Army Corps at Antietam.

C.G.P = Office of Commissary General of Prisoners, Washington, DC

William Hoffman (1807-1884, USMA 1828), Colonel of the 3rd US Infantry, was Commissary General of Prisoners with charge of all US prisons, prison camps, and prison hospitals. His headquarters were in Washington, DC.

Here’s a lovely c. 1865 photograph of him (standing on steps at right) at that headquarters office from the Library of Congress.

Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Southwick (1835-1906), former Sergeant in the 9-month 5th Massachusetts of 1862-63, was 2nd Lieutenant of Company C for their 100-day stint from July to November 1864. The 5th Massachusetts were on garrison duty in and around Baltimore in that period. I do not know why Lieutenant Southwick’s name appears on this document.

After the war he was a successful wholesale fruit and produce dealer in Peabody and a state legislator (1888-92).

Henry Clay Reeves of Company I, 13th Georgia Infantry survived a wound at Sharpsburg in 1862 but lost his left arm above the elbow at Spotsylvania Court House in 1864.

He married Permelia Catherine Jones in 1866 and died at age 82, two months after she did, in their 60th anniversary year.

I’d guess this photograph was taken on their 50th in 1916 or similar occasion. It was shared online to the FamilySearch database by Henry Sikes.

Prison Times (April 1865)

29 September 2022

New-to-me is this hand-made newspaper published in April 1865 by Confederate prisoners at Fort Delaware. Apparently it was the only edition and perhaps 3 or 4 copies survive. This one is online from New York Heritage, a project of the New York Historical Society.

I came upon this while looking into Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin “Frank” Curtright, 13th Georgia. He survived wounds at Kernstown, Sharpsburg, and the Wilderness, and was a prisoner at Ft Delaware after being captured at Winchester, VA in September 1864.

You can see his contribution to the newspaper in an advertisement in the right column of page one:

This beautiful photograph is of William Wesley Covin, a Sharpsburg survivor, late of the 13th Georgia Infantry, who was born, lived, and died in Hogansville, Troup County, GA over a period of 89 years. Rob Leverett, Jr posted this picture online on the WikiTree database.

David McDearmond (c. 1861)

28 September 2022

This is a copy of a retouched photograph of David McDearmond of Houston County, GA. He enlisted in the 13th Georgia Infantry at age 44 in July 1861 and was killed at Sharpsburg on 17 September 1862. He left a widow and 5 children – his oldest, James (1843-1897), was with him and was wounded at Sharpsburg.

This copy of his photo kindly shared online by the General Lafayette McLaws Camp #79, Sons of Confederate Veterans in Fayetteville, GA.

He’s seen as Andrew David McDearmond on his modern memorial in Fayette County, GA and in some recent genealogies, but I believe that’s wrong. His name was probably just David. Andrew does not appear in any contemporary documents I’ve found; he’s referred to as David in every case. His wife called him David in her pension application, and her stone has his name as David also.

I think “Andrew” came from his listing (clipped below) in Lilian Henderson’s Roster of the Confederate Soldiers of Georgia, 1861-1865 (Vol. II, c. 1960), a great general reference, but somewhat notorious for errors large and small.

This application is typical of the work of the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) in the early decades of the 20th Century. It’s for Sharpsburg survivor Henry Marcus Miller.

The original document is in the US National Archives in Washington, DC (United States Headstone Applications for U.S. Military Veterans, 1925-1949; NARA microfilm publication M1916); I found it online thanks to Ancestry.com.

The applicant Mrs. A.L. Bowen was Alma Jessie Miller Bowen (1886-1962), Henry’s daughter from his second marriage to Mary Agatha Jane Lee McCall in 1885. Improbably, Alma’s husband’s first name was also Alma.

James Erwin (or Ervin) Lee was Junior 2nd Lieutenant of Company H, 13th Georgia Infantry when he was wounded at Sharpsburg in September 1862. He was wounded again at Spotsylvania Court House, VA in May 1864 and retired from field service in March 1865. A skilled mechanic and carpenter, he returned to his wife Sarah and their children in Terrell County after the war.

This photograph shared to the FamilySearch database by Jessica Reedstrom.