Lot 652

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A superb collection of material relative to the Civil War service of Henry (Harry) Y. Ball, Co. F 109th Pennsylvania Volunteers, who was killed in action near Pine Knob, Ga. on June 16, 1864. Ball enlisted in the 109th Pa. Vols. on Dec. 20, 1861. He is listed as being detailed for a company of sharpshooters on June 23, 1862, participated with the regiment in heavy fighting at Chancellorsville and was wounded at Gettysburg July 2. The regiment was heavily engaged at Pine Knob, Ga. on June 15, 1864 and Ball was killed while skirmishing in advance of the regiment. Although the regiment suffered four additional wounded, Ball was the only soldier in the regiment killed in action that day. The group features Ball's exquisite silver corps battle commemorative badge, 3 3/8" long overall. A scroll-like pin bar at the top is inscribed "Cedar Mtn" with T-bar pinback, pin itself missing, retaining base and clasp. The silver star is suspended from a chain and pierced in the center with "109", which is intricately scroll engraved. "Harry Y. Ball Co. F 109 P. V. V." engraved in block letters on the riband around the piercing. The five-pointed star displays linear engraving and is presumably representative of the 20th Corps. The longer arms of the star are engraved with the following battles, "Sulphur Springs...Chancellorsville...Gettysburg...Wauhatchie...Lookout Mt. " The entire badge is of heavy 1 mm thick silver. Most badges of this type were issued after the close of the war, making this wartime piece an especially rare example. Offered together with a four-page letter, "June 17, 1864 In the field near Pine Nob, Mr. Ball, It is with great sorrow I have to announce to you the Death of your son Henry Y. Ball. Poor fellow was killed about 8 o'clock yesterday morning while a Skirmishing with the enemy he was shot thru the heart the ball entered the left breast killing him instantly.....he was two brave to live he advanced beyond our Skirmish lines so far that no one could get near him when he fell ... when I went to get him I had to walk on my hands and neas and drag him for 20 feet when 2 others of our company picked him up and run for our lives. I have buried him as best I could...I feel as tho I had lost the only friend in the world the hole company mourns his loss....I have no tent companion now....I have his account book letters and everything he had with him." The letter is filled with further touching sentiments and memories of Ball. Also present is Ball's temporary wooden grave marker, 8" x 12" and 1/2" thick, a wood plank with two reinforcing strips screwed on the back, possibly a section of a crate lid. It is deeply and skillfully carved in large block letters: "Killed in Action June 16th 1864 Sergt. Henry Ball Comp. F. 109th PVV Aged 21" The marker bears a deep, dark weathered patina with just one small age crack and it remains perfectly sound. A truly incredible Civil War grouping which conveys the tragedy and heart breaking impact of the death of one young Federal infantryman.

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December 9, 2011 11:00 AM EST
Stamford, CT, US

Alexander Historical Auctions LLC

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