POST-WAR CABINET CARD PHOTO OF 2ND NEW HAMPSHIRE CAPTAIN WHO ROSE THROUGH THE RANKS

$75.00

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Item Code: P13793

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Image shows James E Saunders in 1890. He wears a dark civilian suit and white collar. Bottom of the mount has a printed caption that reads “CAPT. JAMES E. SANDERS CO. E.”

Image has passable contrast and good clarity.

Reverse has photographer’s mark of several intertwined initials in a sunburst. There are several notations on the reverse. All are in period ink. “JAMES E. SANDERS, CAPT. CO. E. 2ND N.H.V. SEPT. 1890 PETERBORO, N.H.”

James Eli Saunders (aka Sanders) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on December 22, 1831.

When the Civil War began he was living in Peterborough, New Hampshire. It was there that he enlisted as a Private in Company G, 2nd New Hampshire Infantry on June 5, 1861.

The 2nd was a hard fought regiment seeing action at 1st Bull Run, Williamsburg, Oak Grove, Gaines’ Mill, White Oak Swamp, Malvern Hill, 2nd Bull Run, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville and Gettysburg where the 2nd bore the brunt of the assault on the Peach Orchard. After Gettysburg the 2nd garrisoned Point Lookout for a time before returning to the army to fight at Drewry’s Bluff, Cold Harbor and Petersburg.

Saunders service with the regiment was exemplary. He was promoted to Sergeant January 1, 1862, Sergeant Major September 1, 1863. He was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant of Company D on May 11, 1864, 1st Lieutenant of Company G on June 24, 1864 and finally was made Captain of Company E on July 10, 1864.

At 2nd Bull Run Saunders was captured but escaped and returned to his regiment a few days later. Saunders daring was not limited to escapes. After a Confederate assault at Petersburg in June of 1864 then Lieutenant Saunders and another officer spotted a Confederate flag among the dead and wounded. The two Lieutenants jumped over the Union breastworks and charged toward the flag. In the fog of the morning and smoke of the just ended firing, they lost sight of the flag when it was hidden by some of the Confederates. Not to be denied the Lieutenants rounded up some prisoners and returned with them to the Union lines.

Captain Saunders resigned his commission on May 30, 1865 and returned home.

After the war Saunders was active in many civic organizations and served as Post Commander of the Aaron F. Stevens Post of the GAR. He died in Peterborough on February 3, 1911 and is buried there in Pine Hill Cemetery.  [ad]

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