STANDING VIEW OF HARVARD GRADUATE & MEMBER OF GENERAL MEADE’S STAFF KILLED AT FREDERICKSBURG

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Item Code: 450-194

CDV is a three-quarter standing view Lieutenant Arthur Dehon. He is posed slightly turned to the right looking into the camera with his arms folded across his chest. He wears a dark frockcoat with lieutenant’s shoulder straps, sash and sword belt minus the sword.

Contrast and clarity are very good. Mount and paper have minor surface dirt. There are one or two very small spots of oxidation or ink on the skirt of the lieutenant’s frockcoat.

Reverse has a photographer’s imprint for O’NEIL & KIDDER… NORTHAMPTON, MASS. ID is confirmed by an online image, a copy comes with the photo.

Arthur Dehon was born in Boston on January 24, 1841 and was an 1861 graduate of Harvard. He was commissioned a 2nd lieutenant in Company F, 12th Massachusetts Infantry upon muster in and was promoted to 1st lieutenant on May 13, 1862. Dehon served as acting adjutant until September 23 when he was appointed to the staff of General George Gordon Meade. Dehon’s Find A Grave entry picks up the story from there:

“Arthur served as the aide-de-camp to General George Gordon Meade. According to the book entitled "Harvard's Civil War", General Meade, wrote his wife the following after Arthur's death during the battle of Fredericksburg: ‘I have become very much attached to Dehon...it does seem as if good luck that attends me is to be made in the misfortunes of my staff.’

“General Meade wrote of Arthur in a report to Third Division Headquarters, "The Third Brigade had not advanced over 100 yards, when the battery on the height on its left was re-manned, and poured a destructive fire into its ranks. Perceiving this, I dispatched my aide-de-camp, Lieutenant Dehon, with orders for General Jackson (Conrad Feger Jackson)to move by the right flank till he could clear the open ground in front of the battery, and then, ascending the height through the woods, swing around to the left and take the battery. Unfortunately Lieutenant Dehon fell with a ball to his heart just as he reached General Jackson, and a short time afterward the latter officer was killed. The regiments, however, did partially execute the movement to the right oblique, and advancing across the railroad, a portion ascending the heights in their front. The loss of their commander, and the severity of the fire from both artillery and infantry to which they were subjected, compelled them to withdraw, when those on their right withdrew.... The loss of Lieutenant Arthur Dehon, Twelfth Massachusetts, my aide, is greatly to the deplored, as he was a young officer of high promise, endeared to all who knew him for his manly virtues and amiable character."

“The volley of bullets that were fired at Arthur also killed General Jackson with a round through his skull. General Jackson's aid, Captain T. Brent Swearingen, was by his side but fared better as he only had his horse shot out from under him during the fusillade of bullets that rained down upon them.”

“At his death, Arthur Dehon was 21 years old.”

Dehon is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery, Cambridge Massachusetts. [ad] [ph:L]

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