Monday, March 3, 2014

A 6th New Hampshire gallery (part one)

The badge of the Ninth Corps,
in which the 6th New Hampshire
served for most of the war.
Years ago, while researching My Brave Boys, a history of the 5th New Hampshire Volunteers under Edward E. Cross, I haunted antique shops and old paper dealers looking for material.  In one of them I found a collection of cartes de visite, or CDVs, of New Hampshire soldiers. They were from the 6th regiment, not the 5th, but I bought them anyway.

Many of the CDVs were identified and signed. Most were original members and officers of the regiment, which came together in Keene in late 1861. Like John S. Smith, the subject of my last post, most of those who survived stayed in the regiment till the end of the war.

My guess is that these CDVs were once the collection of one of the officers. It has been interesting over the years to learn more about them and, through them, the 6th New Hampshire.

The 6th appears in a few chapters of Our War. The main one tells the story of the drowning of the wives of three officers in August 1862 as they were moving with members of the regiment by steamer just before the second Bull Run battle.

In this post and at least one more I’ll show you faces from this regiment from the CDV collection and elsewhere. (More faces are here and here.)

Simon G, Griffin, a native of Nelson, N.H., was a 36-year-old Concord
lawyer when the war began. He served as a captain in the 2nd New
Hampshire, fighting in the first Bull Run battle. He left to become
lieutenant colonel of the 6th in October 1861 and took over  as colonel
in 1862. By war's end he was a general and division commander.
Robert H. Potter was only 18 when he
joined the 6th as a private. He suffered
a bad wound at Poplar Springs Church,
Va., on Oct. 1, 1864, but was an
officer in the regiment at war's end.

Maj. Samuel D, Quarles of Ossipee was
badly wounded at Spottsylvania
in May 1864 but survived the war.  

Gilmore McL. Houston of Plymouth, N.H., was quartermaster of the 6th. 
Joseph M. Shepard of Gilmanton joined the regiment as a 28-year-old
private in 1861 and re-enlisted in December of 1863. He was soon
promoted to lieutenant. Six months later he was killed at Cold Harbor.  

Charles C. Chesley of Concord
enlisted at 18 as a private and
was wounded at Fredericksburg
and Poplar Springs Church. He
finished the war as an officer. 
Sydney B. Higgins, a 20-year-old
private from Chesterfield, N.H.,
was a lieutenant by war's end.


  1. Just doing some research online and saw this post (thaks for putting this up). I own Lt. Shepards 1862 diary and a NH in the rebellion book owned by Chalres Chesley. Let me know if you still have these! Thanks, Paul Russinoff

    1. Hi, Paul. My 6th CDVs are now at the New Hampshire Historical Society. Any chance you would share a scan of the Shepard diary with me? Thanks for considering.

  2. Mike, I think I can get. PDF of the diary together. Where can I send it?