WATERVILLLE, MAINE, G.A.R. POST CABINET PHOTOS: NINE IDENTIFIED VETERANS: 1st ME CAV; 1st DC CAV; 1st ME HA; 8, 14, 17, 19 INFANTRY; 1st ME SHARPSHOOTERS

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Item Code: 2020-890

This is a great display of nine identified cabinet card of Maine G.A.R. members dating about 1890. Seven of the nine appear in the 1890 veteran census living in Waterville and six are known to have been commanders of the W.S. Heath Post 14, Dept. of Maine, G.A.R., so all are likely members of that post, and seem to be past and present post officers. All are posed the same mid-chest up views, wearing G.A.R. hats with insignia and blouses with G.A.R. badges. Four of the badges indicate current officers and four indicate past officers. The lone holdout without a rank bar, at bottom right, O.P. Richardson, is known to have been the post commander at one point.

The frame features fretwork or scroll-design dividers and an edge with applied diamonds and trefoils, and six-lobed flowers (for lack of a better term) at the outer corners and intersections of the dividers. Each veteran is identified in period brown ink across the lower portion of the card, but visible above the edges of the frame dividers. From left to right and top to bottom the men are identified as follows, and we attach a few service notes:

1A: “W. A. [Li]ght / Co. A 1st [Me?] Sharpshooters.” This is the only problematic image. The last name is rubbed on the left, but ends with “ght,” and the ”Me” of the regiment is not visible. The only candidate we come up with is William A. Light, Co. A 1st Maine Sharpshooters, who enlisted at Nobleboro 10/27/64 and transferred into Co. A 20th Maine 6/21/65, and mustered out 7/16/65, though we cannot place him in Waterville.

1B: “G.E. Wilson Co. A 14th Me” CWData lists him as “George A. Wilson” and says he was in a Boston G.A.R. post, but he is in the 1890 veteran census of Waterville as “G.E. Wilson Co. A 14th Me.” He served  3/9/65 to 8/28/65.

1C: “S. Adams Co. F 19th Me and 44th USCT.” Silas Adams was in the 19th Maine 8/25/62 to 9/10/64. Records indicate he was commissioned in the 41st USCT (not 44th) and served with them 9/23/64 to 12/10/65.

2A: “J.H. Coombs Co. C 17th Me.” Records indicate James H. Coombs served in Co. C 17th Maine without further detail and transferred to 1st ME Heavy Artillery 7/14/63. Mustered out 9/1/66. in Co. C 1st ME Heavy Art.

2B: “PS Heald Co. A 19th Me Inf.” Perham Heald, Norridgewock, Maine, served 8/25/62 to 6/12/65. He was taken prisoner and paroled 6/22/64 at Jerusalem Plank Rd.

2C: “Charles Bushey Co. I 8th Me.” Enlisted at Waterville, age 18, mustered into Co. I 8th Maine infantry 4/4/64. Mustered out 1/18/66.

3A: “A.O. Libby / Co A 1st Me Cavalry.” Anson O. Libby, enl. 10/19/61 in Co. A 1st Maine Cav. Mustered out 11/25/64. POW Brandy Station 6/9/63.

3B: “N.S. Emery Co. First D. C. Cav.” Nathaniel S. Emery enlisted in 1st DC Cavalry 6/1/63; transferred to Co. G 1st Maine Cavalry 2/19/64, discharged 5/16/65.

3C: “O.P. Richardson Co. D 8th Me.” Orrin P. Richardson (1847-1937) enlisted at age 16 in Co. D, 8th Maine 9/25/63. WIA Drewry’s Bluff. Absent sick at muster out of regiment 1/18/66.

The frame is in excellent condition, is quite eye-catching, and is ready to hang. The photographs have their original wood backing panels. They are a tad light from sun exposure, but not faded and preserve good detail. The inscriptions are legible, only the very first showing some rubbing or fading.  [sr] [ph:L]

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