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26th Massachusetts Infantry Chaplin Charles Babbidge

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I absolutely love this image! Ninth plate ruby ambrotype of Chaplain Charles Babbidge. The chaplain would see service with the 6th Massachusetts Infantry where he served for a 3 month term before mustering in with the 26th Massachusetts. At 54 Charles was serving as a pastor at the Unitarian Church in Pepperell, Massachusetts when war came. As men from all around the state were quickly answering the call to arms, Babbidge himself would become the first clergyman called into actual service for the war effort. Just 10 days after the firing on Fort Sumter he would be commissioned into the 6th Massachusetts. The 6th would later be fired upon as they tried to navigate through Baltimore on their way to Washington during the famous Baltimore Riots. He would serve a 3 month term and be discharged in August of 1861. In November he would once again join the ranks. This time with the 26th Massachusetts where he would serve a 3 year term. His services were no doubt called upon during his tenure there. He strikes this interesting “sleeping” pose in this view. Dressed in his early grey Massachusetts uniform and wearing this wonderful tri-corner cap, he sits with arms folded and eyes closed giving the impression of taking a peaceful nap. There is another known view of him taken during this same sitting where he is holding the same pose except he is looking skyward. His engraved revolver which was sold by James Julie Auctions in 2012 is also out there somewhere. There are two small period notes affixed to the velvet pad which identify the chaplain and date the image to 1861. Extremely unique and interesting view. It does come housed in a full thermoplastic case.

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