Image Grouping For Captain Abram A. Harbach, USA.

A small grouping of two images circa 1867-1870s with a period leather photo slip case.



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Small, but significant, this grouping consists of two early Indian Wars images of Abram Alexander Harbach, who began his military career in 1861, as a sergeant in the 1st Iowa Infantry, and ended with his retirement from the United States Army with the rank of brigadier general in 1902.

The carte de visite was taken by Geo Harvey, Burlington, Iowa,  as a captain of the 20th U.S. Infantry.   The bust shot shows some fading, and was taken at the same sitting as the 9th plate tintype, in a patented gutta percha case with patriotic cover (slightly cracked, but remaining strong; the initials on the back of the image are mine).   [One other cdv that is signed, taken in New Orleans, is being offered separately].  Being from Iowa, Harbach must have had these photos taken while on leave or en route to his new station in the Department of the Dakota, commanded by Colonel George Sykes.  The regiment still bears his name to this day as “Sykes Regulars.”

Obtained with the lot was this small leather slip case, with PHOTOGRAPHS stamped in gold as done on the spine of books.  It measures 4 3/8 inches high.  Shows some scuffing and wear to leather from use, other wise all tight. The lot cam from the trunk of 2nd Lieutenant Harry Reuben Anderson, 4th U.S. Artillery.

Harry Anderson attended USMA for one year (1865); became a captain in the 6th U.S. Vol. Infantry Regiment; 2nd Lt. in the 6th U.S. Infantry to 1869, then transferred to the 4th U.S. Artillery; assigned as the aide de camp to Brigadier General Edward Canby during the Modoc War; served with Battery “H” in the Sioux Campaign of 1876, and again in the Bannock War of 1878.  He retired a brigadier general.  I also believe he was the nephew of Major General Robert Anderson, commander of Fort Sumter, SC at the beginning of the Civil War.
Harbach was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th U.S. Infantry on June of 1862, and assigned to recruiting duty, but returned to the regiment in April of 1863 in time to see service at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg.  Extracted from, “The Eleventh Regiment of Infantry.  I. By Capt. J. H. Patterson, U. S. A., Twentieth Infantry:”        “At Gettysburg the two Regular brigades, under Colonels Day and Burbank, again displayed that marked efficiency which, at Gaines’ Mill and on other fields, had made them famous, their thinned ranks being again depleted under the terrible fire which they encountered.”     And again:       “At Gettysburg the two Regular brigades included ten regiments, but they contained only fifty-seven small companies. Out of 1985 present, they lost 829 in killed, wounded and missing, and in Burbank’s Brigade, out of 80 officers present, 40 were killed or wounded.”The loss of the 11th Infantry in officers was the largest it,—or any other Regular regiment, so far as I can learn,—suffered in any one battle of the War. Captain Barri and Lieutenants Kenaston, Elder, Rochford and Barber were killed; and Captain Goodhue and Lieutenant Harbach wounded. The regiment marched with the division back to the Rappahannock.
The 2nd Battalion 11th Infantry was then reorganized and renamed the as the 20th Infantry regiments under the Command of Colonel Frederick Steele on the 21 September 1866. Following the war, after two years of duty as Provost Guard in Richmond and Baton Rouge. Colonel Sykes, after commanding the regiment for over 12 years, died at Fort Brown, Texas in February 1880. From the long association of the 20th Infantry with this great leader of the Civil War, the regiment came to be known as “Sykes Regulars,” which name still is attached to it.
           In March of 1868 Lieutenant Colonel George Sykes, Brevet Major General, was attached to the regiment and assumed command as it Colonel in August, after the death of Colonel Steele. The regiment was chosen from the ranks of all his former units by General Sykes for his own command, and subsequently served in the Indian wars of the American Western Expansion era. Company I formed a part of the command of Colonel Custer for exploring the Black Hills Country. The regiment remained here until 1877. At the Battle of Little Big Horn, one of the members of the 20th Infantry, LT. J. J. Crittendon, died at Custer’s Last Stand. “

Nice images with great history!




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Weight .75 lbs