POCKET WATCH ID’D TO 74TH INDIANA LIEUTENANT KILLED IN ACTION

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Item Code: 846-196

Silver pocket watch made by the American Watch Company and identified to a 1st Lieutenant named Thomas Bodley of the 74th Indiana Infantry who was killed in action at Chickamauga on September 19, 1863.

Thomas Bodley was born in 1838. He was commissioned a 1st lieutenant in Company D, 74th Indiana Infantry on August 8, 1862 and was killed in action at Chickamauga.

The 74th Indiana Infantry was organized at Fort Wayne, Indiana and mustered in for a three-year enlistment on August 21, 1862, under the command of Colonel Charles W. Chapman. The regiment was attached to 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, Army of the Ohio, September 1862. 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps, Army of the Ohio, to November 1862. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, Center, XIV Corps, Army of the Cumberland, to January 1863. 2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, XIV Corps, to October 1863. 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, XIV Corps, to June 1865. The 74th Indiana Infantry mustered out of service at Washington, D.C. on June 9, 1865.

Eight companies of this regiment were organized at Fort Wayne in August, 1862, and were mustered in at Indianapolis Aug. 21, leaving the state at once for Louisville and proceeding thence to Bowling Green. They returned to Louisville Sept. 5, and were assigned to the 2nd brigade, 1st division, Army of the Ohio, and joined in pursuit of Bragg. They reached Gallatin, Tenn., Nov. 10, and moved thence to Castalian Springs, where they were joined by Cos. C and K on Dec. 4, making the organization complete. These companies had been left at Indianapolis to fill up their ranks and left the state, Aug. 27, to join the regiment, but were stopped at Munfordville to assist in the defense of that place. They were in a skirmish with Bragg's advance, Sept. 14, and took part in the general engagement that followed, being surrendered with the forces on the 17th, but were paroled and on Nov. 17 were exchanged. The regiment aided in driving Morgan's forces across the Cumberland at Hartsville, and later overhauled Morgan at Salt river, the brigade driving him across the Rolling fork. The regiment was assigned to the 2nd brigade, 3d division, 14th corps, and moved on Jan. 13, 1863, from Gallatin to Nashville, thence to Lavergne, remaining there until June 3, when it moved to Triune. It then marched on the campaign against Tullahoma and skirmished at Hoover's gap. Moving from Tullahoma in August, it participated in the campaign against Chattanooga, crossed the Tennessee, and was in a skirmish at Dug gap. It was one of the first regiments engaged at Chickamauga and was one of the last to leave the field. Its loss was 20 killed, 129 wounded and 11 missing. It reached Chattanooga on Sept. 22; was in action constantly during that siege and in the victorious assault at Missionary ridge ; pursued the enemy as far as Ringgold, Ga., returned to Chattanooga and was transferred to the 3d brigade, 3d division, 14th corps; moved with Sherman's army in the Atlanta campaign, and was engaged almost daily in skirmishing and in the battles at Dallas, Kennesaw, Lost mountain, Peachtree creek, and numerous minor engagements about Atlanta. Lieut. -Col. Baker, in command, was killed in front of Atlanta Aug. 5. At Jonesboro the brigade carried the works, capturing 4 pieces of artillery and over 700 men. The 74th lost 13 killed and 40 wounded in this affair, most of the latter dying later of their wounds. With the corps, it was in pursuit of Hood's army in October, and then joined in the march to Savannah, the regiment engaging in a skirmish with Wheeler's cavalry at Rocky Creek Church. From Savannah it passed through Georgia and the Carolinas to Raleigh, thence to Washington City. The original strength was 942; gain by recruits, 215; total, 1,157. Loss by death, 260; desertion, 25; unaccounted for, 4. Regimental history taken from "The Union Army" by Federal Publishing Company, 1908 - Volume 3

 

The regimental history states:

“Being replenished with sixty additional rounds of cartridges, the regiment was moved" along the Ringgold road about 500 yards, where it was formed in line of battle, the Fourteenth Ohio on the right, the Fourth Kentucky in the center and the Seventy -fourth Indiana on the left, the command of the three regiments being assigned to Colonel Chapman, devolving the command of this regiment on me. This line was advanced about 2 p. m., steadily driving the enemy before it for over half a mile, when our advance was checked by the overwhelming numbers of the enemy, who concentrated a destructive artillery and infantry fire upon our single line, which was at the time wholly unsupported. Up to this time no artillery had been employed to assist us, owing to the nature of the ground and the density of the woods through which the battle raged. It was in this contest that Lieut. Thomas Bodley fell mortally wounded.”

Lt. Bodley was buried in Pioneer Rest Cemetery, Plymouth, Ohio.

The watch does run. The movement is marked “WM ELLERY, BOSTON, MASS.” The movement number is 81857 and is a model of 1857 made between May and June 1863. Movement has 7 jewels and a gilt finish. Balance is solid steel. Watch is wound by a key which is present. White face with black Roman numerals has minute and hour hands as well as seconds. Face crystal is excellent. Case is sliver. Inside back lid is the maker’s mark “AMERICAN WATCH” and is stamped with the number 1612. Front cover has a delicately engraved decoration on the front.

Pasted inside the front cover is a period label done in period ink that reads “SEPT. 19TH 1863 CO. D 74TH IND VOLUNTEERS THOMAS BODLEY + THIS WATCH FELL ON THE FIELD OF CHICKMAUGA.”

Great item with a great ID.  [SR]

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