IDENTIFIED BOOKS BELONGING TO “THE FIGHTING PARSON,” CHAPLAIN LORENZO BARBER, BERDAN’S U.S. SHARPSHOOTERS

$1,500.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 1179-537

Here is an outstanding set of three books belonging to “The Fighting Parson,” Chaplain Lorenzo Barber.  So nicknamed by the men of Berdan’s Second Regiment, Chaplain Barber has a colored and active history many campaigns with the U.S. Sharpshooters.  As extracted from the Berdan’s U.S. Sharpshooters in the Army of the Potomac by Capt. C. A. Stevens, 1892, Chaplain Barber was one of the Second Regiment’s best sharpshooters, was often on the skirmish line with his telescope-rifle, and drew a large audience when he officiated as a preacher.  As his boys expressed it “That chaplain practices what he preaches.  He tells us what we should do, and goes with us to the very front to help us in battle.”  Here are a few recounts of Chaplain Barber’s activities “…At the time of scattering of the Confederate cavalry at Rappahannock Station (in July 1862) by the Second Regiment,…Col. Peteler called for two volunteers to go into the cornfield, whereupon Chaplain Barber …stepped out and went into the cornfield to the right of the line, and when the rebels jumped off their horses into the field, the Chaplain…were all mixed up with the rebels; at one time two rebs had the Chaplain, at another the Chaplain had two rebs prisoners…”  “While on the way to Gettysburg the Chaplain…was gobbled up at Emmitsburg by the enemy’s cavalry…but succeeded in effecting his escape….”  He fired one of his last shots and was severely wounded in the leg during the November 1863 Mine Run skirmish.  Chaplain Barber was from Albany, NY and died after the war from an accidentally self-inflicted wound during a hunting expedition.

Three of his books are included in this grouping.  The first is his The Family Bible containing The Old and New Testaments with Notes and Instructions published by the American Tract Society, NY, in 1861.  This large, well-preserved and attractive bible measures 7-¾ inches wide by 11 inches high by 3-¼ inches thick.  The front and back covers feature an attractive impressed design with an oval blank center motif.  The outside book edge is alternating black and green colored designs.  The binding is intact and the covers’ edges are worn and lightly scuffed but intact.  The first inside blank page has the signature of Chaplain Barber as “Lorenzo Barber / U.S.S.S.” apparently in his handwriting.  An additional signature below his is “L.W. Atkins”.  There are 1,504 pages in this bible and they appear to be all there, intact, and readable.  Many pages are water stained.  The second book is his Soldier’s Hymns, published by the American Tract Society, NY (undated).  Measuring 3-1/8 inches wide by 4-¾ inches high by 3/8 inches thick, it has an attractive brownish-red impressed cover with a peace dove over a bible with words Glad Tidings / Soldier’s Hymns & Psalms.  The first inside blank page has the signature of Chaplain Barber as “Lorenzo Barber / U.S.S.S.” apparently in his handwriting.  The binding is intact, as are the 96 pages; all contents are readable.  There is minor staining and some minor scuffs and tattering.  Th third book is The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, published by the American Bible Society, NY in 1862.  Measuring 3 inches wide by 4-½ inches wide by 1 inch thick, it has a firm black cloth cover with attractive impressed designs.  The edge states simply TESTAMENT.  The binding is tattered and is mostly intact but for some minor missing blank cloth covering (see photo).  The 479 pages appear to be intact and have gold edges; some are stained but all contents are readable.  The inside back cover page has the signature of Chaplain Barber as “Lorenzo Barber / U.S.S.S.” apparently in his handwriting.  The inside front cover has an interesting pasted page with a Federal flag and, among other words, “Presented by the / New York Bible Society.” / July 1862”.

This grouping is an outstanding remembrance for a fighting Chaplain of the Berdan’s Sharpshooters.  Photocopied pages from the book Berdan’s U.S. Sharpshooters in the Army of the Potomac by Capt. C. A. Stevens including a CDV copy are included with these books. [bb] [ph:L]

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