Brief Sketch of the Organization and Services of the Fifty-Ninth Regiment of the United States Infantry, and Biographical Sketches. Robert Cowden.
Brief Sketch of the Organization and Services of the Fifty-Ninth Regiment of the United States Infantry, and Biographical Sketches.

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Brief Sketch of the Organization and Services of the Fifty-Ninth Regiment of the United States Infantry, and Biographical Sketches.

Dayton, Ohio: United Brethren Publishing House, 1883. 293 pp. Original blue cloth stamped in gilt and blind. CONDITION: Minor edge wear, spine ends a bit frayed, adhesive remnants on spine from removed shelf label. Front hinge just starting. Mild even toning to textblock, small ink stamp on first page of Preface, short repaired tear to Introduction leaf. Overall, a bright copy in very good plus condition, much nicer than usually seen.

A rare regimental history of the exploits of an African-American Civil War unit, composed largely of freedmen from Tennessee and commanded by officers mainly from Ohio.

Initially, the name of the regiment was the First Tennessee Infantry (African Descent), but was changed to the 59th Regiment, United States Colored Infantry in March, 1864. The regiment saw most of their action in the Volunteer State, often against Nathan Bedford Forrest’s Confederate forces. Cowden’s work is comprised of a history of the war from the first ordinance of secession through the muster-out of the regiment. The history covers the organization of the regiment, their early drills, their move to Memphis, their part in the disastrous Battle of Brice’s Cross Roads (also known as the Guntown Disaster), and their participation in the battles at Pontotoc, Tupelo, and Harrisburg. Luckily for them, the 59th USCT were not present at the Battle of Fort Pillow. The unit’s history is followed by short biographical sketches of the white officers of the regiment, along with some of their post-war correspondence. The author, Colonel Robert Cowden, achieved great success in organizing the Fifty-Ninth Regiment. He also commanded the troops assigned to capture John Wilkes Booth, and later testified at the trial of the surviving Lincoln assassination conspirators.

“The author, Colonel Cowden, was born near Mansfield, Ohio, and at the time of writing this book, he was serving as Postmaster, at nearby Galion, Ohio, later moving to Dayton, Ohio. Much on the Guntown Disaster”—Midland Notes. The work is well represented in institutional holdings, but rare in the market, with no copies in Rare Book Hub since Ernest Wessen offered a copy in 1964.

REFERENCES: Library Company, Afro-Americana 2754; NEVINS I, p. 75. Dornbusch II: 1786. Midland Notes 87:123. Heartman 120: 449. Not in Ryan’s Civil War Literature of Ohio.

Item #6503

Price: $2,500.00

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