MODEL 1861 INFANTRY CARTRIDGE BOX OF JOHN DEANE, 3rd MASS MILITIA 1861 AND LATER MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT FOR ACTIONS AT FORT STEDMAN WHILE IN THE 29th MASS 1862 – 1865

$850.00

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Item Code: 2022-299

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This cartridge box is the regulation 1861 pattern using a simple straight line of stitching to retain the latch tab on the cover. The latch tab, belt loops, and sling buckles are in place. The inner flap has both side ears. The implement pocket has its flap and tab. The magazine tins are missing, as is often the case. The outer flap retains its cartridge box plate though the holes show it was removed or changed at least once and is now held in place by a simple piece of wood through one loop.

This box initially came to us in the large family archive of material belonging to Lt. John M. Deane, who carefully preserved and often labeled the large number of items he brought home from his wartime service, items that were equally well cared for and preserved by his family. It went to a collector and is now back with us. The only alteration was the addition of some leather preservative by the collector.

A 29-year old teacher when the war broke out, Deane had served in the 3rd Mass Militia before the war, making sergeant in August 1860 and lieutenant in Co. G by February 1861. He is listed in the wartime rolls of the 3rd as “Ensign,” an alternative designation for 2nd Lieutenant and was one of the “Massachusetts Minutemen of 1861,” enrolling for active service in the 3rd Mass Volunteer Militia on April 16, 1861, and sailing to Fortress Monroe, where they were officially mustered into U.S. service for three months’ duty on April 23 in answer to Lincoln’s call for 75,000 troops for three month’s duty. During that time they took part in evacuating and burning the Gosport Navy Yard and garrisoning Fortress Monroe.

Deane mustered out of the 3rd MVM 22 July 1861 and in June 1862 was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the 29th Massachusetts, making 1st Lt. 12/29/62; Adjutant 11/1/63; Captain 6/8/64, and Major 5/15/65 with a later brevet to Major of U.S. Vols to date 3/25/65, mustering out 8/8/1865. The 29th Mass. served in the Irish Brigade in the Peninsula Campaign and at Antietam, fighting at the Sunken Road. Transferred to the 9th Corps, they served in Mississippi and Tennessee in 1863, returned east and were briefly in the 5th Corps before rejoining the 9th again for Grant’s overland and Petersburg campaigns. Seeing action at Bethesda Church, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Weldon Railroad, and Fort Stedman, Lee’s last attempt to break the siege of Petersburg, where Deane was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for helping to man an abandoned artillery piece under heavy fire and aiding in the repulse of the Confederate attack. The regiment lost 4 officers and 53 enlisted men killed or mortally wounded during their service. Deane penned several of the regiment’s official reports for 1864 and 1865, and his letters have been published. He was credited with participation in twenty battles. In later years he lived in Freetown, Mass., where he was a member of Richard Borden G.A.R. Post #46, and died 9/2/1914.

Deane did not actively serve as an enlisted man, though he may have so armed himself as the 3rd Mass sailed to Virginia, or it could be something he picked up and brought home as a souvenir from one of his many battles, even Fort Stedman in 1865 since the pattern was used throughout the war. In any case, it has a tight provenance to an officer with a great service record. [sr] [ph:m]

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