GREAT GROUP OF ITEMS ID’D TO 28TH MAINE SOLDIER WHO SERVED AT PORT HUDSON

$1,950.00

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Item Code: 2022-401

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This fascinating little group of items belonged to Dennis H. Smith who served nine months as a private in Company B, 28th Maine Infantry.

Smith was born in Peru, Maine in March of 1843. At age 19 he enlisted as a private in Company B, 28th Maine Infantry on October 10, 1862 and was mustered in the same day.

The 28th was sent to New Orleans where they encamped at Donaldsonville. On May 27, 1863 Smith’s Company B along with five other Companies of the regiment moved to Port Hudson. There they took part in the siege as part of Nickerson’s Brigade of Dwight’s Division and shared in the assaults of June 14th and June 22nd losing 3 killed and 9 wounded.

After the fall of Port Hudson, the 28th moved to Baton Rouge where it remained until the expiration of its term of service.

Private Smith was mustered out at Augusta, Maine on August 31, 1863.

Not much is known about Smith’s post-war life. He did receive a pension for a wrist injury and chronic diarrhea. There is also a possibility that he resided in Massachusetts for a while. Smith died on March 25, 1923 and is buried in Riverside Cemetery in Farmington, Maine.

The first item in the group is a wartime quarter-plate tintype of Smith in uniform. He is posed seated by a table wearing a dark four button sack coat and light trousers. Contrast and clarity are good and the image comes with the decorative brass mat and frame but there is no glass and no case. The surface of the image has some light surface dirt.

Also present is a cabinet card photo of Smith later in life. The photograph shows him in his GAR uniform wearing a Post Commanders badge with the Massachusetts state seal on a small drop located below the top bar. He also wears an Army of the Potomac Society badge. The image is by C. M. LITCHFIELD of Boston. It is in good condition with one shallow crease along the right side.

Next is a wonderful museum quality wartime brass stencil that reads “D.H. SMITH - FARMINGTON, ME. -CO. B. 28th, ME. REG’T” in three lines. The stencil is strong and free of any cracks. Surface has a nice light patina.

The group also contains two documents. One is a pension increase document from 1926 stating Smith’s name and regiment and the amount of his pension increase. Document bears the impressed seal of the Department of the Interior and is in excellent condition. The other document is earlier and in poor condition. It is a pre-printed document appointing Smith, or a family member, as a sergeant in the 1st Regiment of Maine Militia. The style of printing on the document appears to be pre-war. Due to a fold in the document, it is difficult to discern the middle initial of the name but “DENNIS” and “SMITH” can be made out. Most likely it is for this Dennis Smith but if the middle initial is different, it could be for a cousin or perhaps his father. The document is missing the lower portion where the Governor’s signature and date would have been and what remains is split along the horizontal fold line.

Next in the group is a GAR membership badge. The badge is of the usual configuration except the US flag is on a gold ribbon showing Smith held a national office. Attached to the ribbon is a colonel’s shoulder strap denoting a past post or past department commander. All is in good condition but the ribbon does show some stress along the top edge.

There is also an interesting souvenir spoon in the group. The handle is in the shape of a rifle with a fixed bayonet which extends into the bowl that is embossed with the three bastions of a fort atop a shield with a riband that reads “PITTSBURG.” Raised lettering on the butt of the musket reads “28TH NATIONAL ENCAMPMENT G.A.R. 1924.” There is some slight tarnish on the spoon’s surface but it is otherwise good.

Also in the group is a very nice ladder badge for Company B, 28th Maine made up of four bars with pressed lettering. All of the bars are well connected to each other with good black enamel in the recesses. The badge is complete with the tassel at bottom and a sky-blue ribbon.

The last item in the group is a period wood writing desk with a gold painted escutcheon on the lid with “D. H. SMITH” scratched into the wood. The wood has a great marbled finish with two painted black bands equidistant from each other running from front to back. Each band is decorated with a row of gold diamonds and parallel gold lines on each side. The closed box meas. approx. 11.50 inches long x 8.00 inches wide x 3.75 inches high. The exterior does show some minor wear. Opening the box reveals a writing surface made of two separate panels. Each has a compartment beneath. At one end of the writing surface is a pocket for an ink well and another for nibs. There is also a longer compartment with a lid for holding pens. Overall, the box is in nice shape and perfectly holds the rest of the items in the group. [ad] [ph:L]

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