POCKET COMPANION FOR ARMY OFFICERS IDENTIFIED TO HIRAM BAILEY, 2nd VERMONT, KIA AT COLD HARBOR

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Item Code: 998-662

A nice copy of Craighill’s 1862 “Army Officers Pocket Companion… for Staff Officers in the Field,” inscribed twice in ink inside: Hiram Bailey / 1st Lt. 2nd Vt. Vols. / April 16th 1863” with the additional note after the second inscription: “Camp near White Oak Church Va. April 16th 1863.”

New army officers could be both overwhelmed by the number of regulations they were expected to know and conform to, and at the same could be woefully unprepared and uniformed about the specific duties they might be called on to perform. Officers like Craighill and Kautz sought to remedy the situation by distilling US regulations for the needy, but also by referring to foreign practices. In this case Craighill adapted a French manual for staff officers to help new officers appointed to staff duty, which usually added the pleasure of immense amounts of paper work to that of being shot at.

Hiram C. Bailey is listed as having resided in Brandon, Vermont. He enlisted as a Corporal in Company B, 2nd Vermont Volunteers on May 17, 1861 and was mustered in the following June 20.  Bailey was promoted to Sergeant on March 7, 1862 and commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in Company B on November 24, 1862. By the end of the year he was a 1st Lieutenant having attained that rank on December 20, 1862.

The 2nd Vermont was present for the 1st Battle of Bull Run where it suffered the loss of 2 killed, 48 wounded and 30 captured. It was then assigned to the 4th and eventually the 6th Corps of the Army of the Potomac. The regiment was engaged at Savage’s Station, White Oak Swamp, Crampton’s Gap, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, North Anna and Cold Harbor. At the latter place on June 3rd Lt. Bailey was hit in the head by an artillery shell fragment and was carried to the rear where he died by nightfall.

Today Lt. Baily rests in Plot B-265 in Cold Harbor National Cemetery in Mechanicsville, Virginia.   [SR/AD]

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