NICE PHOTO & PERSONAL ITEMS GROUP ID TO 121ST NEW YORK SOLDIER WOUNDED AT SPOTSYLVANIA

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Item Code: 1053-34

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The below listed items all belonged to Sergeant Simeon Smith of Company E, 121st New York Infantry.

The first item is a Brooks Patent writing kit in good condition. This roll-up kit is made of a painted canvas cloth writing surface that wraps around a wood base that meas. approx. 8.50 inches long x 1.50 inches wide x 1.25 inches high. The base is lined with tin on the inside and still retains the ink well and pen. Off to one end there is also a small compartment, The inside of the kit when it is unrolled presents a canvas writing surface with interior pockets which still hold paper and envelopes and a secondary flap for holding extra pens, erasers etc… The kit is in overall very nice condition. The tie strings that hold it closed are missing.

Next is a poor condition Smith family Bible. It meas. approx. 5.00 x 7.00 inches. It is badly worn and dirty. The first full untorn page is in Exodus Chapter 9 and the last full page is Revelations Chapter 3. The rest of the interior is bound okay and has little newspaper clippings of interest to the family tucked inside. The center pages list family names and dates including Simeon.

Also with the group is an uncased sixth-plate tintype of Smith standing by a large US flag with one hand resting on his hip. He wears a dark forage cap and New York style shell jacket with trousers that have been tinted sky blue. He wears his waist belt with plate and cap box and on his hands are a pair of gauntlets. Image has the outline of an oval showing that at one time it was in a case. There is also a tack hole at top center. Image has good clarity and contrast but the plate does have a horizontal crease as well as a vertical one. These are obvious only when the light hits the image surface the right way.

The next item in the group is Smith’s eagle masthead discharge. As usual it is filled out in ink. The lower filled out section is hard to read but the upper section is fine. The center of the document has a light spot of discoloration from age. On the whole it is in good condition.

The lot also contains a three page hand written letter by Smith’s former Company Commander and Lieutenant Colonel of the 121st New York, James W. Cronkhite. The letter is dated February 28, 1876. In it Cronkhite speaks of Smith in glowing terms saying that he was always ready to face the enemy and that he was a good soldier and true. He tells Smith that he remembers him being wounded at Spotsylvania and is willing to testify to that fact for Smith on his pension application. Letter is written in a bold hand and is in excellent shape.

Simeon Smith was born in 1831 in Minden, New York. He enlisted as a Private in Company E, 121st New York on August 23, 1861. At the time he was described as being 5’ 10” tall with a fair complexion, gray eyes, black hair and by profession a butcher.

The 121st served through the war with the 6th Corps of the Army of Potomac. Records show that Smith was present at Fredericksburg, Salem Church, Gettysburg, Hagerstown and Rappahannock Station. On April 19, 1864 Smith as appointed Corporal. He was present at the Wilderness and Spotsylvania and in the latter action on May 10, 1864, he was wounded on the left side of the head and did not return to duty until October 17, 1864. After his return to the regiment Smith was engaged at Cedar Creek and Hatchers Run. He was promoted to Sergeant on March 1, 1865 before being mustered out at Hall’s Hill, Virginia on June 25, 1865.

Smith’s obituary on findagrave.com reads:

“Relatives in Cooperstown have been notified of the death of Simeon Smith, at his home in Huntley, Nebraska, Friday of last week. He was seventy-eight years old, and was born in the town of Middlefield, one of a family of nine children pf John G. and Margaret Doxtader Smith. Mr. Smith was a farmer in Middlefield, until the war began. He enrolled in Company E, 121st New York Infantry, in August 1862 and served his country for three years, being wounded in one of the engagements. He participated in all the important battles of the Army of the Potomac. At the close of his military career, he returned to Middlefield and not long after his return, married Maria Doxtader. Soon after his marriage he and his wife went to Huntley, to make their home and engage in farming. His wife and one son, William Smith, of Huntley survive him, and also four brothers, Nelson Smith of Cooperstown, Clark Smith of East Berne, Alfred Smith of Cannsota and George Smith of Indianapolis Ind. The funeral took place on Sunday.”

Simeon Smith died in November of 1908 in Huntley, Harlan County, Nebraska. He is buried there in Bainbridge Cemetery.  [ad]

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