Patter 1861 CARTRIDGE BOX - SNY PLATE id'd to A Reed Co. F 89th NY SOLD
This piece is quite a piece of history. First the item itself. It is a Pattern 1861 cartridge box - no makers name. Makers names were required after the summer of 1862 for contractors so this box was probably made early in 1862. It does have tins and both buckles on the bottom. One of the rear side seams is split. The leather is slightly stiff and looks somewhat weathered. There is a wonderful SNY plate on the flap - held in place with a leather thong. Pasted to the flap above the plate is a strip of paper that reads " FOUND ON THE ROHRBACH FARM ABOUT A QUARTER MILE FROM THE BURNSIDE BRIDGE, 1862" The tag itself is yellowed and faded but probably dates from early in the 20th century. On the inside of the outer flap is stamped "A REED" "CO F" "89 NY" REED, ALMON L.—Age, 22 years. Enlisted at Whitneys Point, to serve three years, and mustered in as private, Co. F, October 22, 1861; transferred to Veteran Reserve Corps
Almon L Reed was wounded in the fighting around Burnside's bridge. The book "Antietam: The Soldiers' Battle " has some quotes from him. First "Private Almon L. Reed (F Co. 89th NY) crashed to the ground in front of Kempler's line with a musket ball in his right knee. As he writhed on the ground, he glanced over to his left (south) and noticed what was apparently Gregg's brigade rapidly marching toward Sherrick's forty acre field of indian corn." Later " "Private Almon L. Reed (F Co. 89th NY) played dead throughout the evening as McIntosh's Battery fired over his head. All evening long Confederates repeatedly rifled his pockets looking for money or souvenirs" and eventually "Private Almon L. Reed (F Co. 89th NY) crawled behind McIntosh's battery to avoid Yankee sharpshooters. A stretcher crew, later that afternoon, carried him to a barn in a hollow near the village. They left him there, unattended, amoung other wounded Yankees....."
During the Maryland Campaign, the 89th New York was, along with the 9th and 103rd New York Regts., a part of Col. Harrison Fairchild’s 9th Corps brigade. At the Battle of Antietam, Fairchild’s brigade would suffer the highest casualty percentage of any Union brigade; nearly 50%. Of the 368 men in the 89th New York, 103 were killed, wounded, or missing.
This does not indicate where Almon lost his cartridge box, perhaps when the Confederates were going through his pockets. The box laid out in the weather and probably was rained on. With the exception of the seam split the box is solid and sound. There is wear on the belt loops should use on a waist belt. This is quite a special piece.
Here is an excerpt from a letter written after the battle by George Nickel 89th NY.
Antietam, Md. Sep, 30 1862
I have written one hasty letter since our fight, and you will have probably read a full description of the great battle of Antietam and the brilliant dash of Burnsides troops. Our brigade made itself gloriously conspicuous and the rebels were scattered before it like sheep, but we were then flanked by a heavy force on our left and were cut down by artillery on the right and front, and to save ourselves from complete destruction we had to fall back, and we did it without running too, and the rebels did not dare to follow us. We had caused many of them to bite the dust and many, also, of our brave boys were laid low. I don’t know but Almon and Byron will get home before you see this, and they will give you the incidents of our march. Almon, I got a chance to see but I was not able to see Byron, and I can’t find out where they are now, but I think they have got furloughs. I am very sorry to lose them, it is lonesome in camp with them gone. I am sorry too for Byron’s great misfortune. Our first Lieut and, C Courtney, who had legs amputated, have since died. Since the battle we have had a little easier times, but having left our knapsacks with our things at Washington we are getting pretty dirty and ragged. We cannot get papers to write on so you must excuse us and tell friends to excuse us till we can get our pay, or things