BOOK OF SHORT STORIES PUBLISHED BY THE AMERICAN TRACT SOCIETY PRESENTED BY THE CHAPLAIN OF THE 1st MARYLAND POTOMAC HOME BRIGADE TO A SOLDIER IN THE SAME REGIMENT, THEN PASSED ON TO AN ARTILLERYMAN IN THE 2nd NY HEAVIES

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Item Code: L15581

Small book measures roughly six inches by four inches and has an embossed black cover. In gilted words, the spine reads: “SOLDIER’S LIBRARY,” “PARLEY THE PORTER,” “13” indicating that this book is number thirteen of a collection of books which are part of the soldier’s library. The book totals 96 pages and contains four short stories: “Parley the Porter,” “The Inquiring-Meeting,” “The Scotchman’s Fireside,” and “The Ringleader.” These stories were published by the American Tract Society, an evangelical Christian organization.

Inside the front cover, written in period ink, is an inscription: No 44 / 1st MD REGT P H BRIGADE / VOLUNTEERS / PRESENTED TO / MR ISAAC PENNELL / BY / CHAPLAIN OF 1ST MD REGT / P. H. B.

Opposite the title page, “Frank Tubbs” is written in pencil. There is a doodle “Frank” as well.

Inside the back cover, our doodler from the front cover pages writes in the back: LEMUEL E. TUBBS BOOK / PRESENTED TO HIM BY A UNITED / STATES SOLDIER ON PICKET / DUTY AT PORT TOBACO MARYLAND / APRIL 15th 1863 / FRANK TUBBS / LITTLE FALLS / NY.

There are four characters involved in the life of this little book. First, we have Chaplain William G. Ferguson, who mustered into the 1st MD Potomac Home Brigade in December of 1861. Chaplain Ferguson resigns his commission at the end of February, 1863.

Next, we have Isaac Pennell, who mustered into company A of the 1st Maryland Potomac Home Brigade in August of 1861 as private for a term of three years; he eventually re-enlists when his term of service expires and receives his bounty. He mustered out with the regiment on May 29th 1865.

Both Chaplain Ferguson and Private Pennell were captured when Stonewall Jackson captured Harper’s Ferry in 1862. In fact, the entire regiment was captured with an aggregate of about 12,000 Federal soldiers that day. POW memoranda exist in both Ferguson’s file as well as Pennell’s file, however, no information on whether or not they were held or paroled or exchanged is recorded.

Because Chaplain Ferguson resigned in February, 1863, we can safely assume that the religious tract book was given to Pennell sometime before his resignation from December, 1861 to February, 1863.

We know then that the book was passed on to Lemuel Tubbs in April, 1863 by a “United States soldier on picket.” It is possible that the soldier who presented it to him was Isaac Pennell.

Private Lemuel Tubbs was an artilleryman in Battery E of the 2nd New York Heavy Artillery. He was recruited at his hometown of Little Falls, New York in 1863. Private Tubbs is killed in action at Spotsylvania on May 19th 1864.  A letter in Lemuel’s pension file attesting to his death states “I can say that said Lemuel E. Tubbs received letters from Mrs. Frank Tubbs, Little Falls, N.Y. She addressing him as her husband.” Select transcriptions of letters written by Tubbs to various correspondents are available on Ancestry.com. In these letters, Lemuel speaks of his wife, Frank, saying: “I got a letter from Frank yesterday. She said she had sent you one of my photographs…” and “I got a letter from Frank last Thursday. She says she is not going home this Spring…”

Lemuel Tubbs married Francis Weems on August 16th 1859. They had no children. As it would turn out, the last known steward of this little book was that of Lemuel Tubbs’ wife, Frank, who is worthy of more research.

Service records, medical records, and pension records come along with this piece for Chaplain Ferguson, Private Pennell, and Private Tubbs.   [cls]

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