1864 SOLDIER POCKET DIARY - SERGEANT LEROY TERRY, 121ST NEW YORK INFANTRY [GETTYSBURG REGIMENT]; WIA SALEM CHURCH, VA, MAY 1864

$750.00 ON HOLD

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Item Code: 480-269

Diary 1864”, published New York, 1864. Black lea,, 3 x 4.75”, fldg. flap. Two owner inscriptions: Front eps, “Segt. Leroy Terry, Co. “I”, 121st New York”—Opposite title page, “Leroy Terry Co. E/ B.K.C. Wisewell Barracks / Washington D.C.”  Rear insert (pasted on)—Campbell Hospital / Washington DC /J.H. Baxter / Surgeon in charge—Transferred to Vet. Res corps Jan 23 1864.” Diary exhibits exterior, front folding flap torn. Else VG, w/solid spine and clean entries.

Leroy Terry enlisted at age 21 in 8/9/1862 as a private in Co. “I”, 121st New York Infantry.  At some point his was promoted to Sergeant and on 3 May 1863 received a leg wound at the Battle of Salem Church, as part of the Chancellorsville Campaign. He then went into convalescent camp and barracks, and was transferred to the Veteran Reserve Corps, with whom he served the remained of the war.

The 121st New York, mustered in August 1862, carved a distinguished record among Army of the Potomac Regiments. Attached to the 6th Corps, the unit was engaged at Fredericksburg and during the Chancellorsville campaign where Sgt. Terry received the leg wound that put him out of the war, though not out of the Army. It participated in nearly all the remaining engagement of the AOP though Appomattox, including 1864 service with Phil Sheridan in his Shenandoah Campaign, and engagement at Winchester, Cedar Creek and Fisher’ Hill. During service it lost 236 killed or mortally wounded and 21 by disease for a total of 257.

Sergeant Terry’s diary contain terse 3-to-a-page entries written in pencil. It records the rather hum drum life of convalescing soldiers, first at the Campbell Hospital in Washington and then at the Wiseman convalescent barracks. Terry’s state of health and the condition of his leg wound slowly improve enough for him to serve limited duty at the Carroll and Old Capital prison (as guard and escorting prisoners), and as sentry at the north end of the Long Bridge to Arlington.

There are moments of enthusiasm when he records Sherman’s victory at Atlanta and Gen. Thomas’ at Nashville. (“Glorious new from Atlanta & Ft. Morgan. May it be true”—“200 guns fired as a salute to Gen. Thomas victory.”)

In the rear-end memoranda he notes his transfer to the “Invalid Corps” on Jan 23, 1865, and notes as well President Lincoln’s Assassination—“murdered at Ford’s theater April 14, 1865…by Wilkes Booth.”, while mentioning in the next sentence “On duty, night payday.”

In all, a solid memento from the 121 New York Infantry, and a soldier wounded at Salem Church, VA. In protective sleeve, accompanied by documentation.  [jet] [ph:L]

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