Please note our new address: 98 Bohemia Ave Suite 2  Chesapeake City, MD 21915
Phone 203-276-1570 / Fax 203-883-1483 / Email

Full Details for Lot 133

Previous LotNext Lot
Click to enlarge

Sale 38 Lot 133

CIVIL WAR DIARIES AND PHOTOGRAPHS OF SGT. RICHARD P. LIPPINCOTT Fine lot of material surrounding the Civil War service of Sgt. Richard R. Lippincott of the 61st Penn. Vols., including two diaries which bear battle content and accounts of camp life, a third volume with retained copies of battle reports as well as essays and poetry written by Lippencott, and several photographs. In all there are over 340pp. of text covering the period from February, 1862 to February, 1863 with accounts of his service in the Peninsula Campaign and an account of the Seven Days. The first diary opens with Lippincott's commentary on slavery and the injustice of slavery, and clearly shows the writer's intelligence and literacy. He continues, in small part: "...We are encamped two miles from Langley...with about 70,000 troops, the whole army moved today...Rebels evacuated Winchester and accident occurred to one of the 2nd Rhode Island. Some of them found a shell and were carelessly handling it when it exploded...a piece of the shell struck him on the head cracking the skull and exposing the brain. He lay in great agony...Genl. Banks division reached Manassas today to plant the flag of union upon the stronghold of secession...the infantry troops are all on board of steamers, the cavalry and artillery are on board of sloops...hundreds of vessels are laying in the river, most of which are going with us on the expedition...the first earthworks of the rebels are seen, which have been captured and destroyed...Aquia Creek and its batteries present themselves...the pilot cries out, we're hard aground..the little Monitor lies in the harbor...she lays in the stream hardly visible, her deck stands about 15 inches above the level of the waters and the battery stands about 9 feet high and forms a circle which revolves...the Monitor captured the Merrimack this morning in the roads...[Newport News]...some of the houses were destroyed and most of the others deserted, those that were occupied had a white flag...several rebel camps are near us...[near Yorktown]...[we are] but a few hundred yards from the rebel pickets, our pickets are passing compliments with them...rebels tried to flank us today but our artillery played on them...we are within a few miles of Lees Mills where they are strongly attack will soon be made, Heintzelman is on the right and gradually reaching Yorktown..our pickets are keeping up a steady fire...the rebel batteries are very compact here, they are fronting the creek...we are all hard up for grub, nothing to eat and the roads so bad the teams cannot come up...[near Warwick Court House]...the rebels still continue to open with artillery whenever they discover one of our picket posts...the enemy during the night have constructed rifle pits for the purpose of picking off our gunners...the Berdan sharp shooters are winning for themselves a good name as they shoot with such of the Berdan boys a day or so ago shot 12 of the rebel gunners...the 61st crossed over and occupied the forts...commanding the whole crossing...they had left most of their tents...cut in strips...some of them had stove pipes pointing over the parapets...effigies of Lincoln and McClellan strung up...contrabands would come running up to us...[Hooker] succeeded in turning their right...made a charge and killed 400...the dead and wounded lay strewn over the some of their rifle pits the dead lay three deep...New Jersey troops were badly cut they could not get reinforcements...houses all filled up with the enemy's killed and wounded...prisoners say the battle was a terrific one, our men mowing them down by scores...William & Mary College where I now rite, is full of their wounded...the rebels undertook force [and] flanked our division. Peck's Division had to leave a battery spiking it before they left...the roar of the cannon now became deafening...we could see the sheets of flame burst forth, it was a thick underbrush where we formed...we could see the enemy advancing across the open field in front - in a greatly superior number, a battery of the rebels planted just in front...just as they got to the edge of the wood...our line poured a volley into them, mowing them down like grass. Then the slaughtering commenced with us. We had a whole brigade to contend with and they soon flanked us from each way, mowing our men down fast. We stood under the galling fire some 20 minutes...we fell back, what was left of us and soon the enemy came through our camp...Rickett's Battery was planted......the boys gave the rebels so much grape that they could not stand it. The grape mowed them down by scores. Still they stood like a stone wall...rebels began to outnumber our men...our camp was riddled with bullets...rebels slept in our camp that daylight the enemy attacked our front again...our forces regained their old ground...the rebels laid several thick all over the field and in the woods, the groans of the wounded and dying produced such a sickening vividness upon me...dead lay piled upon dead..." Lippincott's first diary describes several more engagements during the Seven Days, with the second diary opening with his return north by ship, thence on to Fairfax. On Dec 11th, Lippincott offers the finest, most literary account of the opening bombardment of the battle of Fredericksburg we've ever seen, five pages, worthy of publication. In small part: "...musketry is lost to the ear in the mighty roar that re-echoes again and again from hill to hill. Gradually, the fire slackened, and the engineers again attempt the completion of the bridges, but in vain, and after a third trial they fall back, bearing in their arms their wounded, dead and dying...the city from its walls of brick hurls back a thousand echoes...Fredericksburg, utterly desolate, stands out before a huge column of dense smoke, towers like a monument above the livid flames that leap and hiss and crackle...we see the solid shot plunge through the masonry as though it were and then a rebel gliding from one hiding place to another...". The battle prevents Lippincott from detailing his exploits, but he does mention that his regiment is the first to cross. These diaries are among the most well-written examples we've seen, totally unlike typical examples of the era with perhaps one-half page daily entries, and our excerpts barely describe his eloquence. At times Lippincott waxes poetic, writing patriotic verses, at other times he presents his ultra-patriotic side, denouncing Southern politics and the institution of slavery. The third volume provides a history of the 61st Regiment, copies of two battle reports dictated to Lippincott by Division Commander Genl. Darius Couch describing the battles of Fair Oaks and Malvern Hill and indicating unit positions, losses, deployments, etc., and a number of Lippincott's original war poems and essays on life in camp. Tipped in is Lippincott's 1901 obituary, a photo of either his deceased daughter or his wife, and a poem sent home. The diaries are each about 6" x 7 1/2" in well-worn paper covered boards, with content written in both ink and pencil, all very legible. Finally, included is a 3 1/4" x 4 1/4" tintype of Lippincott showing him full-length with dress sword in Zouave uniform, carefully hand-colored, in brass mat, and a later 8 1/2" x 5 1/4" mounted albumen of an armed company who must be children, one black, faded at left. Again, these diaries and related material are so well-written that much of their content is well-worthy of publication.
Estimate $ 7,000-9,000

Back    Inquiry   

© Alexander Historical Auctions.  Images, descriptions and condition reports used on this site are original copyright material and are not to be reproduced without permission. For further information telephone (203) 276-1570

Copyright © 2018 Alexander Historical Auctions, LLC - All rights reserved. | Site Map | Legal | Privacy Policy