PENCIL SKETCH / MARYE’S HEIGHTS, FREDICKSBURG, VA - SGT. EUGENE B. HOVEY, CO. “I”, 37TH MASSACHUSETTS INFANTRY, WIA SPOTSYLVANIA COURT HOUSE, 5/12/1864

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Item Code: 1054-1143

One page, 4’ x 6.5”, mounted on slender w/card. Upper caption: “One you sent me from the army.” Lower caption: “Marries [Marye’s] heights Fredericksburg Va.” This intricate sketch features a fence in the foreground, w/ house and trees and Fredericksburg skyline to the rear. Exhibits light fading and soiling, especially along the right margin. One inch inward tear on right card margin. Else VG.

Eugene B. Hovey was a 23 year-old mechanic from Springfield, MA, who mustered as a Sergeant into Co. “I”, 37th Mass. Infantry, 8 /6 1862. He was wounded in action at Spotsylvania Court House, VA, 5/12/1864, and was mustered out 6/21/1865. His unit was organized in August 1862, was attached to the 6th Corps and, beginning with Antietam, participated in all the campaigns and major battles of the Army of the Potomac through the end of the war. During service the 37th lost 169 killed and mortally wounded and 92 by disease for a total of 261.

The sketch is accompanied by a xerox copy of a short piece titled, “Some 58 eight years later, E.B. Hovey.” Pertinent passages as follow:

“I bought this book somewhere in 1857 or 58 of Mr. Bessie, who then kept a book and news room under the old Massasoit House in Springfield Mass….I carried the book with me when I went into the Army in ’62. But it was lost somewhere in 63 in an endeavor to send it home. It was then filled sketches or the leaves of the Book, and many loose sheets—never saw it again until the 12 of June 1914. It was said that it was taken from a dead soldier body on some field of battle, where I do not know—E..B. Hovey…..Trough a slip, clipped from the National Tribune, handed by W.H. Hovey, my brother’s widow, saying that a Mrs. S.E. Fielding of Sommersville Mass, wished to find the owner of a drawing book which was found on the dead body of a soldier I was led to correspond with said party—the result being that I received said book again after the book being lost over 50 years—though many of the sketches were gone.”

Nicely executed sketch by a sergeant of of the 37th Massachusetts Infantry. Solid collectible. In protective sleeve, accompanied by documentation.  [jp]

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