IDENTIFICATION DISK OF JAMES HOWLETT OF COMPANY C, 11th MASSACHUSETTS VOLUNTEERS

$895.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: M26065

These identification disks were popular among soldiers as they we not issued “dog tags” by the government at the time of the Civil War. However, sutlers and peddlers were happy to order, acquire, and then stamp pre-made silver or gilt-washed disks with the purchaser’s information. These disks came with an array of patriotic themes on them from Union shields to eagle motifs; the one stamped for James Howlett bears a raised side profile view of George Washington. Around the edge, the disk reads: “George Washington / Born February 22.”

The other side is imprinted with the soldier’s details. Along the top edge is his name, “James Howlett.” Along the bottom edge is “Boston.” The regimental details are stamped in the center: “Co. C / 11th REG / MASS V.” Stamped in very small script underneath 11th REG is “War of.” Below “Mass V.” reads “1861.”

A hole is punched in the center of the top of the badge to attach it to a chain or pin.

This disk is somewhat difficult to read in artificial light, but using a flashlight, one can make out the details more easily. The silver wash is peeling and has bubbled in places on both sides. Additionally, the silver wash has peeled of the edges off the disk, leading one to believe this may be a recovered item. Although, there is no indication of recovery location.

James Howlett joined the 11th Massachusetts in April of 1861 for a term of three years but was discharged from the regiment in March of 1863. Howlett was present when the 11th was engaged at Bull Run and at the Siege of Yorktown, but at some point he contracted a disease of the lungs which is the cause for his eventual discharge.

In March, 1864 Howlett joined the 2nd Massachusetts Cavalry. July 13th 1864, Howlett is captured at Rockville, Maryland during Early’s raid toward Washington. He is confined at Danville, Virginia until February 22nd 1865 when he is paroled.

His lung problems surface again and he is discharged May 27th 1865 for disability due to phthisis, a chronic and progressive lung disease supposedly contracted while he was a prisoner of war in Virginia.

Howlett was born in Charlotteville (or Charlottetown), Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia. Records indicate that he was a naturalized citizen who had emigrated from Canada with his family when he was only two years old in about 1847. As he grew, Howlett settled in Boston, but it appears that he traveled back and forth over time.

Howlett becomes somewhat difficult to track post-war as it seems there are several James Howletts from Prince Edward Island. With no pension records available for this soldier, more in-depth research is necessary to discover more about Howlett.

Service records and medical records come with this ID disk.     [cls]

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