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  • Civil War Identification Disk of Theron Allen Farr 5th New Hampshire Infantry

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    Civil War Identification Disk of Theron Allen Farr 5th New Hampshire Infantry - Inventory Number:  IDE 202

    Civil War identification disk with patriotic eagle motif and “WAR OF 1861 / UNITED STATES” legend. The opposite side is stamped “T. A. FARR. / CO. C. / 5th / REG. / N.H.V. / LITTLETON.” Theron A. Farr enlisted in September 1861 as a private in the 5th New Hampshire Infantry. He reenlisted after three years and mustered out in December 1865 as a Captain. Raised and led by the fiery Colonel Edward E. Cross, the 5th New Hampshire bears the unfortunate distinction of having sustained the greatest total loss in battle of any infantry regiment in the Union Army, with 295 killed and 756 wounded, for a total of 1,051 men. The regiment fought near the wheatfield at Gettysburg and suffered 31 killed (including Colonel Cross) and 50 wounded out of 182 men engaged. Farr’s ID disk measures 1 1/16” in diameter and retains an untouched brass patina. A classic example from one of the hardest fighting Civil War regiments. 

    Theron A. Farr - Residence Littleton NH; 21 years old. Enlisted on 9/30/1861 as a Private. On 10/12/1861 he mustered into "C" Co. NH 5th Infantry. He Re-enlisted on 3/29/1864. He was Mustered Out on 12/28/1865 at Littleton, NH. Promotions: 1st Lieut 10/28/1864. Capt 5/1/1865. Intra Regimental Company Transfers: 10/28/1864 from company C to company H. 5/1/1865 from company H to company G. Other Information: Born in Littleton, NH.  After the War he lived in Littleton, NH.


         By WILLIAM CHILD, late Surgeon Fifth Regiment New Hampshire Volunteer Infantry, and Historian of Regiment.

            THE Fifth Regiment was organized at Concord, the men being enlisted for three years.  Edward E. Cross of Lancaster was appointed colonel August 27, 1861, and at once entered upon the duties of the office.  The regiment camped east of the Merrimack river, near the lower bridge, the camp being called ``Camp Jackson.''  Company A entered camp September 28, 1861, and the regimental organization was completed October 26.  Colonel Cross was an experienced Indian fighter, and had been in the Mexican service, and his experience was valuable in organizing and disciplining the regiment.  The renown gained by this organization is the heritage of no single locality, for its members were gathered from all parts of the State.

             The regiment received its colors October 28, 1861, and the next day left for the front, arriving at Bladensburg, Md., October 3I, when it was assigned to the First Brigade, Casey's Division, Army of the Potomac.  While at Bladensburg the regiment made a severe march to Lower Marlborough, to disperse armed bodies and prevent disturbance at the elections.

             The regiment was assigned to the First Brigade, Sumner's Division, Army of the Potomac, November 27, 1861.  It marched through Washington and Alexandria, Va., November 28, and the next day camped near Alexandria, the camp being called "Camp California," where it remained until March 10, 1862.  While here the regiment furnished men for scouting parties and picket duty, received instruction in engineering work, and was thoroughly drilled and disciplined.  On the 10th of March, 1862, it left "Camp California,'' and on the 14th was assigned to the First Brigade, Richardson's Division, Second Army Corps.  It participated in a reconnaissance to the Rappahannock river, March 28.  On the 11th of April the regiment was at Ship Point, near Yorktown, Va., and April 25 was temporarily detached from its brigade to construct siege material for the siege of Yorktown, upon which duty it was engaged until May 4, when the enemy evacuated the city.

           May 28 and 29, under direction of Colonel Cross, and assisted by details from the Sixty-fourth New York Volunteers and the Irish Brigade, the Fifth built the noted "Grape-vine Bridge'' across the Chickahominy river.  The other bridges having been swept away by a freshet, Sedgwick's Division crossed " Grape-vine Bridge,'' May 31, in time to check the advance of the Confederate army in its pursuit of the Federal troops, thus saving the Union army from a disastrous defeat.

             On the night of May 31, the Fifth took position on the field of Fair Oaks, and the next day forty of its members were killed or mortally wounded.  Here the regiment remained, skirmishing, and doing picket duty, until June 28.  During the next three days it was engaged at Peach Orchard, Savage's Station, White Oak Swamp, and Malvern Hill, after which it camped at Harrison's Landing, Va., until August 16 the Band being mustered out on the 8th of August.

         At South Mountain the Fifth was in the reserve; but at Boonsborough, September 15, it was in the advance of the army, and two days later performed marked service at Antietam, losing in killed and wounded more than one third of those present.  In the official reports, the Fifth is given the credit of having discovered and frustrated the attempt of the enemy to turn the left of the Second Corps.

         On the 2d of November the regiment skirmished at Snicker's Gap, Va.  It was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps, November 12, remaining in that brigade until July 27, 1863.

         On the 12th of December 1862 the Fifth marched into Fredericksburg, and on the next day met with a fearful loss in its charge on Marye's Heights.  Six color bearers were shot down, and of nineteen officers present, eight were killed or mortally wounded, and five others wounded.  The dead of the Fifth were among the few found near the stone wall, so noted in that battle.  In his official report, General Hancock said: "Col. Edward E. Cross, commanding the Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers, severely wounded, behaved in the handsomest manner.  The conduct of his regiment was heroic.  Refusing to yield any ground, his brave officers and men died where they stood."

         The winter of 1862-63 was spent in camp near Falmouth, Va.  The regiment left camp April 28, 1863 and was at Chancellorsville from the 1st to the 5th of May.

           On the 7th of June a detail of about one hundred and thirty men formed a part of the picked force of infantry which accompanied the cavalry of the army and acted as its support in the fight at Beverly Ford and Brandy Station, Va., June 9.  The detail joined the regiment June I7, at Sangster's Station.  On the 2d and 3d of July the Fifth lost heavily at Gettysburg, Pa.  Colonel Cross, who was commanding a brigade, was mortally wounded on the 2d of July, and died that night at 12.30 o'clock.

             About the 1st of August the regiment was ordered home to recruit, arriving at Concord August 3.  Returning to the front, the regiment landed at Point Lookout, Md., November 14, where it remained until May 27, 1864, guarding rebel prisoners.

             On the 1st of June, 1864, the regiment joined the army near Cold Harbor, and was assigned to the First Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps.  On the 3d of June, at Cold Harbor, it maintained its old fame, losing on that day forty-six killed or mortally wounded. Here the regiment charged, entering the rebel works, but was compelled to fall back the troops on its flanks having failed to break through the rebel lines.  The Fifth remained in the works at Cold Harbor until June I2, suffering constantly from the enemy's fire.

            On the 16th of June the regiment charged on the enemy's works at Petersburg, and was engaged in front of Petersburg until July 26, being in the Jerusalem Plank Road fight June 22.

            The James River was crossed July 26, and the regiment was engaged at Deep Bottom the next day, being mentioned in orders by General Hancock for its "gallantry in the capture of the enemy's battery."

             The regiment re-crossed the James July 29, and on the 30th arrived in front of Petersburg, participating in the siege until August 12, when another march was made across the James; on the 16th it was engaged at Deep Bottom; and on the 25th, at Ream's Station. Arriving at the old campground in front of Petersburg, August 27, the regiment was engaged in the siege until the city was evacuated.

             On the 15th of October the regiment was placed in Fort Stedman, remaining there until about November 15, when it was relieved and moved to the rear.

             In November, the regiment having been reduced below the minimum number necessary for a regiment, by the discharge of the original members, whose time expired October 26, became an eight company battalion, the members of Companies D and K being transferred to the other companies.

             About the 1st of December, the Fifth was placed in Fort Welch, and on the 8th and 9th of December took part in the reconnaissance to Hatcher's Run, Va.  Returning to Fort Welch, it remained there until February 5, 1865.  Companies F and G, Second United States Sharpshooters, were transferred to the Fifth, January 30, 1865.  During the remainder of February, the headquarters of the corps was near the Wilkinson house.  A slight loss was sustained at Fort Stedman March 25.  During March most of the time was devoted to preparation for the final struggle.

             During the last of March the Army of the Potomac began the operations which culminated in the surrender of Lee's army.  In these operations the Fifth took an active part, being engaged at Dinwiddie Court House, Va., March 31, and at Sailor's Creek, Va., April 6.

             At Farmville, Va., April 7, the Fifth made its last charge.  The enemy was strongly posted, and the ranks of the Fifth withered away until when it reached the last slope within a few feet of the enemy's works, the colors, supported by only a handful of men, were captured by the enemy, who dashed out in overwhelming numbers, and but few of those near the colors escaped death or capture.  On the next day the colors and the prisoners lost with them were re-captured.  On the 9th, Lee's army surrendered.

             On the 23d of May the Fifth marched in the grand review of the Union army at Washington, and on the 28th of June was mustered out near Alexandria, Va.

             The regiment was ever under excellent discipline and was thoroughly prepared for any duty it might be called upon to perform.  Hardly any writer, in describing the great battles of the Army of the Potomac, fails to mention the Fifth New Hampshire Infantry and the important services it rendered.

         The following is from " Regimental Losses in the American Civil War, 1861-65," by William F. Fox, Lt. Col. U. S. Vols.:  " The one regiment in all the Union armies which sustained the greatest loss in battle during the American Civil War was the Fifth New Hampshire Infantry. * * * It served in the First Division, Second Corps.  This division was commanded successively by Generals Richardson, Hancock, Caldwell, Barlow, and Miles; and any regiment that followed the fortunes of these men was sure to kind plenty of bloody work cut out for it.  The losses of the Fifth New Hampshire occurred entirely in aggressive, hard, stand-up fighting; none of it happened in routs or through blunders.  Its loss includes eighteen officers killed, a number far in excess of the usual proportion, and indicates that the men were bravely led.  Its percentage of killed is also very large, especially as based on the original enrollment. The exact percentage of the total enrollment cannot be definitely ascertained, as the rolls were loaded down in 1864 with the names of a large number of conscripts and bounty men who never joined the regiment. * * * Known to the corps and division commanders as a reliable regiment, it was the more often called upon to face the enemy's fire, or assigned to the post of danger."

             The Fifth New Hampshire Volunteers was attached to First Brigade, Casey's Division, Army of the Potomac, October 31, I86I; First Brigade, Sumner's Division, Army of the Potomac, November 27, I86I; First Brigade Richardson's Division (became Hancock's Division September 17, 1862), Second Army Clorps' March 14' 1862; First Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps, November 12,1862, to July 27, 1863; at Concord, August 3,1863; in District of St. Mary's, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, November 13, 1863; First Brigade, First Division, Second Army Corps, June 1, 1864.


    Rappahannock River, Va.                              Mar. 28, 1862

    Yorktown, Va.                                                 Apr. 25 to May 4, 1862

    Fair Oaks, Va.                                                June 1, 1862

    Peach Orchard, Va.                                       June 29, 1862

    Savage's Station, Va.                                    June 29, 1862

    White Oak Swamp, (Glendale or Charles City Cross Roads), Va.              June 30, 1862

    Malvern Hill, Va.                                            July 1, 1862

    Boonsborough, Md.                                      Sept. 15, 1862

    Antietam, Md.                                                Sept 17, 1862

    Snicker's Gap, Va.                                        Nov. 2, 1862

    Fredericksburg, Va.                                      Dec. 13, 1862

    Chancellorsville, Va.                                     May 1- 5, 1863

    Gettysburg, Pa.                                             July 2, 3, 1863

    Cold Harbor, Va.                                           June 2-I2, I864

    Siege of Petersburg, Va.,                            June 16 to July 26; July 30 to Aug. 12 Aug. 21 to Dec. 7,1864;Dec.

    10, 1864, to April 2, 1865.

    Jerusalem Plank Road, Va.                         June 22, 1864

    Deep Bottom, Va.                                        July 27, Aug. 16, 1864

    Ream's Station, Va.                                     Aug. 25, 1864

    Reconnoissance to Hatcher's Run, Va.    Mar. 25, 1865

    Ft. Stedman, Va.                                          Mar. 25, 1865

    Dinwiddie Court House, Va.                      Mar. 31, 1865

    Sailor's Creek, Va.                                       Apr. 6, 1865

    Farmville, Va.                                              Apr. 7, 1865

    Comes housed in an 8 x 12 inch display case with blue velvet backing and descriptive card.

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     Inventory Number:  IDE 202