Wednesday, September 30, 2009


CIVIL WAR DRUM AND JOURNAL BELONGING TO JOHN BROWN HOLLOWAY, 148TH REGT., PA INFANTRY, plain metal body with applied post-war stylized script label that reads 148th Reg't, PVI Battles Engaged in Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Bristoe Station, Mine Run, Wilderness, Po River, Spotsylvania, North Anna, Totopotomoy, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, Strawberry Plains, Deep Bottom, Ream's Station. Interior label in script reads J.B. Holloway Co. D 148th PVI recording participation in the same 14 battles noted above. Complete with pair of 16.5" and 15" drumsticks.

John Brown Holloway, Jr. joined Company D, 148th PV as a Musician in August 1862, served for the duration and was discharged in June 1865. He was born in Aaronsburg, PA in 1836 and died January 5, 1923 in Burbank, OH.

The 148th Pennsylvania Infantry was organized at Camp Curtin, Harrisburg during September 1862 and served admirably in the 2nd Corps, Army of the Potomac suffering over 200 combat casualties before mustering out on June 1, 1865 after marching in the Grand Review. This drum saw action in many of the major battles in the Eastern Theater as commemorated on the old label affixed by Holloway to the combat-weary shell.

The lot also includes a 7.5 x 6" journal, 138 pps in length, housed in marbled boards, representing a copy or "updated" version of Holloway’s diary kept between August 25, 1862 and June 8, 1865. While undated, we assume the diary to have been made sometime during the late 19th or early 20th centuries. All entries are in ink and highly readable. Holloway was a good correspondent, and had no trouble describing the 148ths involvement at Chancellorsville (great content), Gettysburg, the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse. His journal entries for Gettysburg are typical and read in part:

July 1. Left camp...marched through Uniontown came through Tawny Town and arrived within a few miles of Gettysburg…passed the ambulance which was carrying the body of Gen. Reynolds. People along the road when we march are very kind supplying us with water and things to eat....

July 2. The morning we formed in line of battle. Not much fighting till about in the afternoon…Col. Cross of the 4th N.H. commanding our Brigade was mortally wounded and suffered so severely that he begged for some one to shoot him....he died during the night. Capt. Forster of Co. C. our Regt. killed.

July 3. Pretty heavy firing began this morning but did not continue long. The hard fighting began in the afternoon and continued til night. The struggle was a fearful one though I think we gained a victory – saw the most wonderful artillery duel of the war – being on high ground where I had a good view. The work was awful – Pickett’s charge.

After Gettysburg, the 148th saw heavy action in May and June 1864 when Holloway was a participant in the Battles of the Wilderness and Spotsylvania Courthouse. Perhaps because of his position – while not in the line of battle he served behind the lines serving in field hospitals - Holloway was a careful observer of the numbers of wounded, dead and dying, and faithfully records the carnage after each major battle. A fine journal.

(EST $3000-$5000)

Auction: 2009, Firearms and Militaria, Nov 4 & 5
Lot # 147
Cowan’s Auctions

1 comment:

  1. Very intriguing and like finding a piece of gold to me! My gg-grandfather was Jacob Bracken, of Cambria County, PA. He served in this unit. Thanks for the post - even if I stumbled upon it just today!


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