Identified to Charles Witham, a private in Co. “C”- Wounded at Darbytown Road, Va., 1864.
This knapsack is a militia style state issue piece, and in this case, used by a corporal in the 10th Connecticut Infantry. Unlike the typical tarred M1857 militia knapsacks that are commonly found, this one is of much higher quality, and would have held up far better during campaigning during the Civil War.
With the exception of blanket strap missing from the top of the knapsack, all is complete. The leather straps are supple, and showing use. There are no visible markings inside or out. Photos provided show the construction methods. The compartment on the inside flap has one side where the stitching has popped. The outer tarred surfaces are fine exhibiting typical wear on edges.
The painted “10” is done where only the white paint represents that in shadow, and only the faintest of highlighted line was used to indicate the edge of the numbers. A similar paint job is seen in “Echoes of Glory” where this same style knapsack is seen with 10th Conn. ID.
Corporal Witham’s bold stencil is on the inside flap on raw canvas, “CW / Co D.”
Charles Witham enlisted as a private in November of 1862 into Co. C. 23rd Conn Infantry, and mustered out in August of 1863. He re-enlisted into Co. “D” 10th Conn. Infantry on March 1,1864, mustering out on August 25th 1865. He was wounded at Darbystown Road, Va., a battle that took place on October 13, 1864, near Richmond, Va.
The 10th Conn. was part of a force that charged Confederate entrenchments that were heavily fortified, and the number of federal troops sent in for the purpose of driving the enemy from that position, was entirely to insignificant and they were repulsed. The 10th Conn, lost 46 killed and wounded which was one more than half their number that they had taken into the fight. During its service of more than 3 years this was the first time the regiment had fallen back under a heavy fire.
Witham returned to his regiment some time after, and was promoted to the rank of corporal in January of 1865.
A great, honest, and historic accoutrement.