CIVIL WAR - UNION - RECEIPT SIGNED 08/01/1864 CO-SIGNED BY: J. H. WALKER - HFSID 262943
Sale Price $324.00
CIVL WAR: UNION - LT. J. H. WALKER
A lieutenant in the valiant 14th US Infantry Regiment signs receipt of payment for himself and his servant and fodder for his horse. When he signed this receipt, Walker's unit had begun the prolonged and bloody assault on Petersburg.
Annotated Receipt signed three times: "J. H. Walker/1st Lt. 14th US Infantry", 1 page, 17½x11½. No place, 1864 August 1. Walker has filled out and signed a partly printed account of his expenses for the month of July 1864, consisting of pay for himself and for one servant, and also fodder for his horse. He signs receipt of this payment in full, $107.00. Docketed on verso. Although there is no personal information readily available on Lt. J. H. Walker, much can be inferred from the history of his unit. The 14th US Infantry, was a regiment of the regular army formed May 3, 1861, in President Lincoln's first expansion of the peacetime US Army. (Most Civil War units on both sides were supplied by the states, but the 14th was a federal unit. It served in the Army of the Potomac through all the great battles of the Eastern Theater, including the Peninsula Campaign, Antietam, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg before fighting at the horrific Battle of the Wilderness (May 5-7, 1864), in which soldiers not shot by the enemy often succumbed to raging fires started by a raging forest fire. Walker evidently survived this battle, but by June 9 the 14th was engaged at Petersburg, a costly battle of trench warfare anticipating World War I as Grant's army gradually encircled Richmond, the Confederate capital. This battle, often called a siege, lasted until March 25, 1865, when the Confederate lines were finally broken. It was not uncommon for even junior officers to have manservants the Civil War, laundering uniforms and carrying out routine duties. These servants were not themselves members of the armed forces, although of course they incurred some of the risks. The 14th US Infantry was assigned the place of honor in the Grand Review of the Armies, held in Washington to celebrate the Union victory. General Meade placed them on the right of the line, the place reserved since medieval times for the most skillful (or senior) soldiers, originally on the theory that the best warrior needed to be able to swing his sword freely. The 14th has subsequently served with distinction in all of America's major wars, except World War I, fighting most recently in Iraq and Afghanistan. Lightly toned. Multiple mailing folds. Minor notches at bottom edge. Otherwise, fine condition.
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