BUST VIEW CDV OF 61ST VIRGINIA LIEUTENANT-COLONEL KILLED AT SPOTSYLVANIA, WITH WONDERFUL PERIOD INK ID

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Item Code: 1138-993

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Image is of William F. Niemeyer in a light-colored double-breasted frockcoat with the two stars of a lieutenant colonel visible on both sides of his collar.

Clarity is good but the contrast is a little light. Paper has some smudged dirt or oxidation at center just above Niemeyer’s eyes but none of his features are obstructed. Bottom center of the mount has a wonderful period ink ID that reads “LT. COL. W. F. NEIMEYER, A. N. V. 61ST REGT VA VOLS.”

Reverse is blank but for some collector information in pencil.

Image is from the collection of the late William A. Turner.

William Frederick Niemeyer was born May 12, 1840 in Portsmouth, Va.

A findagrave.com entry gives a very succinct biography as well as an interesting account of his death which is as follows:

“… His preparatory education was at Norfolk Military Academy. He then attended the United States Military Academy, resigning in 1861 to join the Confederacy. Ten days after turning twenty-two years old, he was commissioned lieutenant colonel of the 61st Regiment of Virginia Infantry. His command was prominent in all of the battles in which his regiment participated. He was killed on his twenty-fourth birthday at the Bloody Angle during the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse. In an advance, the Confederates overran two sets of works, but were stopped by a third, where massed 9th Corps artillery and infantry musketry raked his brigade. According to an officer, Niemeyer "lost his life in attempting to capture a beautiful iron gray horse elegently caparisoned which was walking about riderless between the lines." The shot that killed him was from a Union sharpshooter that pierced his chest as he mounted the stray horse on the field. Niemeyer was one of the Confederate army's most promising young officers, and his fall was greatly lamented. He was set to receive he promotion to Brigadier General the day he died. He was given the papers to be signed so he could officially be promoted, but said he would sign them after the battle. General William Mahone was deeply moved by the death of his protégé; it is reported that the young colonel's body, still immaculately uniformed, was laid on top of the table in the General's tent. General Mahone stood with his head bowed in silence, and used his long white coat to wipe the mud from Colonel Niemyer's boots, which had been muddied when he fell from his horse.”

This short biography fails to mention Niemeyer’s wounding at Bristoe Station on October 14, 1863. He was buried in Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia. [ad] [ph:L]

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