VEST OF MAJOR ROBERT LANE ELA 6th NEW HAMPSHIRE- TWICE WOUNDED

$1,250.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-6647

This vest belonged to Robert Lane Ela, who served during the war as Captain and Lieutenant in the 6th New Hampshire and was twice wounded in action, the last time while commanding the regiment in the Battle of the Crater. The vest is light blue in color, with notched collar and four exterior pockets, and is fastened by six small buttons. The lining shows stains from wear and lining and back now show as a light brown or tan. The adjusting belt is present. There is some shredding to the silk back at the upper edge along the collar, otherwise the vest is solid and in very good condition. The buttons on it are small size New Hampshire state seal buttons backmarked “Waterburg Button Co. *” in larger letters usually taken to be later 1800s.

Ela (1838-1905) enlisted at age 23 on 11/28/1861 and was commissioned as Captain of Co. I 6th New Hampshire 11/30/61. (His younger brother Richard had enlisted as a lieutenant in the 3rd NH in August, and was killed at Drewry’s Bluff in May 1864.) Robert was wounded twice: 8/29/62 at 2nd Bull Run (“his arm shattered below the elbow,”) and again 7/30/64 at the Battle of the Crater at Petersburg while in command of the regiment when a case-shot exploded in front of him, partially paralyzing his legs. He did quartermaster duty in New Hampshire while recovering but rejoined the regiment to be promoted Major 6/1/65 and mustered out at Alexandria, VA, 7/17/65. The regiment spent much of its service under Burnside and in the 9th Corps, beginning with the coastal expedition. CWData lists about 80 points at which it took casualties at some point, most notably at 2nd Bull Run, Wilderness, Spotsylvania, almost daily losses at Petersburg from June 1864  to August, and then at Poplar Springs Church in late September, where it lost about 125 in killed wounded and missing. In killed and mortally wounded alone it lost 3 officers and 177 enlisted men. In its summary history the regimental historian credits it with 21 battles and campaigns and notes 2nd Bull Run, where Ela was wounded as among its hardest fights, losing 210 killed, wounded and missing out of 450 in the battle.

Ela seems to have worked on his father’s farm early on and then been in shoe manufacturing in Massachusetts when the war started and he returned to New Hampshire to enlist. He studied medicine after the war, at Dartmouth and elsewhere, receiving an M.D. in 1870, but practiced only briefly in 1871 in Kansas, and later lived in Nevada and California. He is sometimes listed as a physician and businessman. We find him marrying in Illinois in 1871, but by 1900 divorced and living back in New Hampshire. His wife Sarah shows up in 1898 in Chicago, living with a John Ela, a lawyer and presumably their son. The divorce may not have been amicable: she lists herself as John L. Ela’s widow.

He lived for a time in California after the war but died back in New Hampshire.  [sr][ph:L]

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

THIS ITEM, AS WITH ALL OTHER ITEMS AVAILABLE ON OUR WEB SITE,

MAY BE PURCHASED THROUGH OUR LAYAWAY PROGRAM.

CLICK HERE FOR OUR POLICIES AND TERMS.

THANK YOU!

Inquire About VEST OF MAJOR ROBERT LANE ELA 6th NEW HAMPSHIRE- TWICE WOUNDED

For inquiries, please email us at [email protected]

featured item

12-POUNDER NAPOLEON PENDULUM HAUSSE CANNON SIGHT

This is an essential piece of artillery gear for crews manning the classic Civil War field-piece, the Model 1857 12-Pounder Napoleon. The pendulum hausse rear sight was the often-used replacement for the tangent scale rear sight that needed the… (1231-02). Learn More »

Upcoming Events

25
Apr

May 15 - 19: NSS-A Spring Nationals Learn More »

Instagram