Signed on the reverse with reference to both of his regiments, home town and date in period red ink.
Silas Peirce Richmond had a long career with the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia going back to his enlistment as a private in Company “G” of the 3rd Mass Regiment in 1850, raising i n the ranks to captain in 1855. Shortly after that Richmond was promoted to major and inspector of the 2nd Brigade, MVM. In 1860, he was made ADC on the 2nd Brigade staff with the rank of captain, and went to Fortress Monroe in 1861, later fought in the Battle at Big Bethel, Va on June 19, 1861.
Richmond mustered in as colonel of the 3rd Mass. Infantry on October 15, 1862, and mustered out in June of 1863, having been assigned to The Department of North Carolina, partaking several skirmishes, a few battles, and expeditions in their 9 month service.
In September of 1863, He is commissioned as colonel of the 58th Mass. Infantry, and remained in that position until April of 1864, according to the dating of his CDV. The regimental history, and other data sources state only that he was never mustered in as colonel. I have to assume that Richmond was instrumental in organizing the regiment due to his vest experience with the MVM. Finding some biographical information on him, I discovered that when the 58th left Massachusetts for the south, Richmond had been offered a position as Assistant Provost Marshal in the Department of the South, which he held until being mustered out at war’s end in September of 1865.
The image is very good showing a seated Richmond, holding his slouch hat with infantry insignia for the 3rd Mass. What is impressive, is the lengthy signature on the reverse in period red ink (“Yours truly/ S.P. Richmond/ Col. 58th Mass. Vols./ [3rd Veterans]/ Freetown, Mass./ Apl. 1864”). The photograph was taken by J.W. Black, Boston. It has to be assumed that Colonel Richmond had intended to remain the colonel of the 58th as late as April of 1864 as you can see on the carte. Whether he sought out the appointment as Provost Marshal, or offered to him will take some researching, but in effect, he was colonel of the 58th Mass. infantry for nearly seven full months. His replacement, Lt.Col John Whiton took command of the regiment when it left the State on April 28, 1864.