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Lot 94

Archive of Henry P. Soxman, Co. D, 62nd PA Infantry. The archive includes a blood-stained flag; two Civil War diaries--one covering the last quarter of 1861 and all of 1862, the other covering 1863; Soxman's discharge in 1864; a regimental patch with "Gettysburg" and "62d"; and a newspaper article reporting Soxman's death while trying to save his 8-year-old daughter who was run over by a train. These items belonged to the consignor's mother's family and have been locked away for many years. The flag is 47 x 68 inches, with 34 stars on one side and 37 on the other (Kansas was the 34th state, admitted Jan. 29, 1861; Nebraska was the 37th, admitted Mar. 1, 1867). The flag has a 3 inch square area missing from one corner and one corner of the blue field is ragged. There are also several holes and small tears; one tear is crudely sewn together. The 37-star side has a couple of pieces of tape over tears. Soxman was wounded in the thigh at Gettysburg on July 2, 1863, was sent to the hospital after lying on the field all night, and a few weeks later sent home, his part in the war over. This is a fascinating, first-hand account from a soldier who took part in many of the major battles and some of the heaviest fighting of the Civil War.

The 62nd Pennsylvania was a gallant, hard-fighting unit. It is listed in Fox's Fighting 300, a list of the top Civil War units put together by the veterans themselves. The 62nd had the distinction of having more men killed by combat than by disease (normally disease killed twice as many men as combat). Soxman was with the 62nd through Gettysburg, including Yorktown, Hanover Court House, Gaines' Mill, Malvern Hill, Harrison's Landing, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Kelly's Ford,and Gettysburg. The first diary is 3¾ x 2½ in. and written in pencil, with soiling throughout. The first pages show that the winter of 1861-62 was spent drilling. On April 5, 1862, he notes: "We started for Yorktown…came within reach of the rebel guns…we were drawn up in line when a shell came and wounded three of our men…" In the following days, he mentions shellings, picket duty, seeing dead bodies left from the fighting, marching, setting up and striking tents, then on May 27 (Hanover Court House), he writes: "…we started on the march…and went 12 miles when we got up with the rebles and had a little fite but drove them away there were a good many killed on both sides…. June 27 (Gaines Mill): "…we went near new bridge…the rebels made an attack on us and we fought till dark when we had to fall back and Col. [Black] got killed in the commencement of the fite…." July 1 (Malvern Hill): "…the rebles came out to make a charge on our batteries but we met them and drove them back apiece when they sent in more men and the battle commenced and raged terribly all day we still held our ground and in the night fell back in the direction of city point…" Sept. 16-20 (Antietam) "…we arrived on the battlefield where we stayed all night there was some firing done all the time…we were called to reinforce Sumner's Corps….we still lay under fire till evening…some of our troops crossed the river but we were back by the rebles with considerable loss…." Dec. 11-14 (Fredericksburg) "they were fiting with the artillery all day terribly…the fite commenced about noon we went into the fite in the evening and got 10 men wounded…we lay there all day…and kept up a fireing…."

The 1863 diary is 4¾ x 3 in., written in ink. April 30-May 5 (first 2 days' writing very light): "We formed a line of battle and then throwed up brestworks…They were fiting all day…We relieved the 11 corps…our regiment was sent out on skirmishes.we had several wounded…fiting most of the day…our Brigade was sent out to feal for the rebles. John Buckly was mortally wounded and 4 more wounded in our company…The Army was ordered to fall back…our Division was left for rear guard." July 1: "…got to Hanover at 3 in the afternoon. Eat supper and started for Gettysburg…They told us that McClellan had command of the army, great cheering." July 2: "Went to Gettysburg. Fiting commenced at noon. We went into the fite at 5 P.M. We had a very hard fite. I got a lite wound in the right thigh. We lost very heavy. Slept on the field all night. Major Lowrey was killed. There were 19 of our company killed wounded and missing." Soxman was sent to the Division Hospital the morning of the 3rd. He mentions on the 5th that "The fifth and sixth corps moved after the rebles in the evening…" and on the 6th that they heard cannonading from the hospital. He was evacuated to Baltimore, then to a hospital in Philadelphia; on the 24th of July, he arrived home. The rest of the diary contains farm and weather notations.
Estimated Value $10,000 - 15,000.


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