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  • Bryce Hartranft

    The 57th Massachusetts Veteran Volunteer Regiment was formed in the winter of 1864. The regiment left Camp Wool on April 18th 1864 with 916 men and officers. They were engaged in the battles of the Wilderness, Spotsylvania Court House, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and the Crater. By July 30th, just 3 and a half months after leaving camp, there were only 46 enlisted men and 1 officer left to report for roll call. Grant's relentless tactics won the war, but destroyed thousands of young men.

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Henry O. Nightingale, c. 1864, age 20. Born in England, Nightingale emigrated to America when he was five and joined the Union Army in 1861 at the age of seventeen. He was promoted to corporal after the Battle of Gettysburg. This picture was taken before he was wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness in 1864 and his left arm was partially amputated. He was also present at Ford’s Theatre when Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865.

First Black Regiment, South Carolina 1st, Massachusetts 54th. "Glory Regiment" " No. 35 Dress Parade of the First South Carolina Regiment (colored) near Beaufort S.C. The only view of this regiment ever made." Published by John C. Taylor (originally by E. & H. T. Anthony) from the negatives by Brady & Co. The original price was 25 cents.

Seeing a woman in the midst of the hotly contested Civil War battlefield of Spotsylvania surprised the veteran officer of the 8th Ohio Infantry Regiment! Seeing her in uniform - a Zouave uniform at that - astonished him all the more. She was the famous Vivandiere, Marie Tepe, who served with in the 114th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry Regiment.

[The Wilderness Battlefield, near Spotsylvania, Virginia]

William Matthews was so enthusiastic about the new First Kansas Colored Volunteer Infantry in 1862 that he was one of the first to volunteer. Matthews’ enthusiasm spread and he convinced a number of exslaves to enlist in the regiment. The Leavenworth businessman soon was appointed captain, the highest ranking African American officer in the regiment. He is probably wearing two pistols because if captured, he would be executed immediately.

THUMMER, SAMUEL AMPUTATION OF ARM. [gangrene] Rank CPL, Company F, Regiment 209, State PENN, MOS, VOLUNTEERS, Battle PETERSBURG, VA [Civil War] Date of Injury 2 APR 1865

Private William Henry Lord, a cavalryman, sits alert and ready for the next ride. CDV by George Wertz, Kansas City, Mo. A yet unmuddied enlistee from Bleeding Kansas, the last state to enter the Union before Fort Sumter, Lord was in the Eleventh Kansas Volunteer Cavalry; he was wounded in the shoulder in October 1864 but rejoined his company and was mustered out in September 1865.

54th Massachusetts Regiment; the first official all African-American unit organized during the Civil War. | Florida Memory

ca. 1864, [21st Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, Company D at Lookout Mountain in Tennessee] via the Wisconsin Historical Society

August 1864. "Petersburg, Virginia. Company C, 1st Massachusetts Cavalry." Wet plate glass negative, photographer unknown.