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  • Pair of Glass Inkwells

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    Pair of Glass Inkwells - Inventory Number: IDE 037

    Identified to Henry P. Bowditch 1st Massachusetts Cavalry, 5th Massachusetts Cavalry (Colored Unit).   Originally purchased from Bowditch's estate along with several other personal items.  

    Henry P. Bowditch:

    Residence Jamaica Plain MA; a 21 year-old Student.

    Enlisted on 11/5/1861 as a 2nd Lieutenant.

    On 2/5/1862 he was commissioned into "G" Co. MA 1st Cavalry 

    He was discharged for disability on 2/15/1864

    On 5/5/1864 he was commissioned into Field & Staff MA 5th Cavalry 

    He Resigned on 6/3/1865

    He was listed as:

    * Wounded 11/27/1863 New Hope Church, VA

    Promotions:

    * 2nd Lieut 11/5/1861 

    * 1st Lieut 6/28/1862 

    * Capt 5/13/1863 

    * Major 3/26/1864 (As of 5th MA Cav)


    MASSACHUSETTS 1ST CAVALRY - Three Years

    First Cavalry.-Cols., Robert Williams, Horace B. Sargent, Samuel E. Chamberlain; Lieut.-Cols., Horace B. Sargent, Greely S. Curtis, Samuel E. Chamberlain Lucius M. Sargent Jr., John Tewksbury; Majs. William F. White, John H. Edson, Greely S. Curtis, Henry Lee Higginson, Atherton H. Stevens, Jr., Samuel E. Chamberlain, Lucius M. Sargent, Jr., T. Lawrence Motley, Benjamin W. Crowninshield, John Tewksbury, Charles G Davis, Edward A. Flint, Amos L. Hopkins, George H. Teague.  This regiment was largely composed of volunteers from existing militia organizations and embraced men from the Boston Lancers, Waltham Dragoons, North Bridgewater Dragoons, and Springfield Horseguards.  It was rendezvoused at Camp Brigham, Readville, where the men began to arrive early in Sept., 1861. 

    By Nov. 1, its ranks were filled and it was mustered into service for three years. Col. Williams was a regular army officer and was recommended to the governor by Gen. Winfield Scott.  The 1st battalion, composed of Cos. A, B, C and D, under Maj. Greely S. Curtis, left the state for Annapolis, Md. on Dec. 25.  The 2nd and 3rd battalions left on Dec. 26, and 28, proceeding to Hilton Head N.C, after a halt of 1O days enroute in New York.  They were joined here in Feb., 1862, by the 1st battalion.  The first active service of the regiment was on the Charleston expedition in May.  On Aug. 19, the 1st and 2nd battalions joined the Army of the Potomac in Virginia, the 3rd being left behind and never rejoined the regiment. 

    Under command of Maj. Stevens it was engaged for several months in the performance of picket and patrol duty at Beaufort and Hilton Head, a detachment sharing in the reconnaissance to Pocotaligo Oct. 22, 1862.  During the siege of Fort Sumter in April, 1863, part of the battalion was on duty on Folly and Morris islands.  On Aug 4, 1863, it was permanently detached from the regiment and was called the independent battalion, Mass. cavalry, under which name it engaged in the expedition to St. John's river, Fla.  It continued to serve as an independent battalion until Feb. 12, 1864, when it became the 1st battalion, 4th Mass. cavalry, and its subsequent history will be given with that regiment.  The 1st and 2nd battalions, with the Army of the Potomac, took part in the marches and skirmishes which preceded the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg, but was not actively engaged in either battle.  Meanwhile, Col. Williams had returned to service in the regular army, and 238 recruits had been received from Massachusetts.  After the battle of Fredericksburg, it went into winter quarters on Potomac creek. 

    It shared in the action at Kelly's ford in March, 1863, and was attached to the cavalry under Gen. Stoneman during the Chancellorsville campaign.  It was engaged at Rapidan Station, and Warrenton road, and Brandy Station, and served as rear-guard at the opening of the Gettysburg campaign.  It was heavily engaged at Aldie Court House, losing 24 killed, 41 wounded and 89 missing, accompanied the 6th corps on its march to Gettysburg, and after the battle returned to Westminster with a body of Confederate prisoners.  During the remainder of the year it was almost incessantly on the move, scouting, skirmishing, and engaging in the exacting and arduous duties demanded of this arm of the service.  In September it met with some loss at Rapidan Station, where it was exposed to a severe artillery fire, and as a part of Gregg's division, it was active in the Mine Run campaign, engaging the enemy's cavalry at New Hope Church and at Parker's store.  It covered the withdrawal of the infantry on the abandonment of this campaign and was on outpost duty at Warrenton until April 21, 1864.  In March, 1864, a new battalion of four companies joined the regiment to take the place of the 3rd battalion, which had been detached.  The regiment was once more active throughout the trying campaign of 1864 as part of the cavalry corps under Gen. Sheridan being attached to the 1st brigade, 2nd division. 

    A list of its engagements during the year includes: Todd's Tavern, Ashland Salem Church, Trevilian Station, St. Mary's Church, New Market, Lee's mills, Malvern hill, Deep Bottom, Reams' station, Jerusalem road, Vaughan road, and Bellefield Station.  The term of enlistment of the original members expired in Sept., 1864, and on Oct. 25, all who had not reenlisted left for home to be mustered out.  The veterans and recruits, including the new battalion, were reorganized and continued to serve with its old brigade and division.  It spent the winter of 1864-65 in winter quarters at Westbrook house, being detached March 17, 1865, for provost duty at City Point.  On May 27, it reported for escort duty to Gen. Davies in command of the cavalry corps in the defenses of Washington, where it remained until mustered out on June 26, 1865.  It reached Readville June 29, where the men were finally paid and discharged on July 24.  The total enrollment of the regiment was 107 officers and 2,132 enlisted men.  Its losses during service were 7 officers and 92 enlisted men, killed or died of wounds, 2 missing; 88 died by accident or disease; 57 died as prisoners.


    MASSACHUSETTS 5TH CAVALRY (COLORED) Three Years

    Fifth Cavalry.-Cols., Henry S. Russell, Charles F. Adams, Samuel E. Chamberlain; Lieut.-Cols., Charles F. Adams, Horace N. Weld; Majs., Horace N. Weld, Zabdiel B. Adams, Henry F. Bowditch, Albert R. Howe, Charles C. Parsons, Cyrus C. Emery. 

    This was the only regiment of colored cavalry organized in Massachusetts.  It was recruited during the autumn and winter of 1863-64, and was mustered into the U.S. service by companies at dates ranging from Jan. to May, 1864.  The total enrollment of the regiment was 61 officers and 1,325 men.  Its losses during service were 5 killed 121 died by accident or disease, and 2 died as prisoners.  The 1st battalion, comprising Cos. A, B, C and D, having been mustered in Jan., 1864, left the state for Washington on May 5, under command of Maj. Horace N. Weld, and on the 13th, serving as infantry, reported at Camp Casey, where a provisional brigade of colored troops was being formed for purposes of instruction and discipline.  The 2nd battalion, comprising Cos. E, F, G and H, was mustered during February and March, and under Maj. Z. B. Adams left for Washington May 6.  The 3rd battalion, composed of Cos. I, K, L and M, left the state May 8, under command of Maj. Bowditch, and all three were united at Camp Casey by the middle of May.  The regiment was immediately ordered to report to Gen. Butler at Fortress Monroe, where it was equipped as infantry and was assigned to the 3rd division, 18th corps at West Point Va., on the 16th.  Here several weeks were spent in drill, guard and picket duty, with occasional expeditions, and the regiment took part in its first serious engagement at Baylor's farm on the Petersburg road, June l5, meeting with a loss of 3 killed and 19 wounded.  Among the wounded were Col. Russell and Maj. Adams, and Maj. Bowditch now assumed command of the regiment.  It served before Petersburg as part of Wild's brigade, Hinks' division, 18th corps, until June 29, when it was assigned to the 10th corps and served at Point Lookout, Md., as garrison for a camp of Confederate prisoners. 

    It remained on this station until the opening of the final campaign in Feb., 1865.  Col. Russell resigned on Feb. 14, 1865, and Lieut.-Col. Adams was promoted to the vacancy.  The regiment now had a full complement of officers for the first time and took part in the final siege of Petersburg.  After the fall of that stronghold it encamped near City Point until June, when it was ordered to Clarksville. Tex., where it remained until it was mustered out, Oct. 31, 1865.  Col. Adams, having resigned on Aug. 1, on account of sickness, Lieut.-Col. Chamberlain, late of the 1st Mass. cavalry, was commissioned to fill the vacancy and at once joined his new command.  He did much to improve the sanitary condition of the regiment, as the command had suffered severely in health in the South.  After its muster out, the regiment returned to Massachusetts, and was finally paid and discharged from the service in the latter part of November.


    Inventory Number: IDE 037