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Brothers John & Henry Common 142nd New York Infantry Killed in Action

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Item No. CV80475 Category


Brothers Henry and John Common of Waddington, New York. Henry would muster as a corporal in Company C on August 11th, 1862. Two days later, his younger brother John would follow in his footsteps, mustering into the same company as a private. The regiment would spend the remainder of 1862 serving in the defenses of Washington. In 1863 they would join the Department of Virginia and take part in the Siege of Suffolk. July of that year would see them assigned to the Army of the Potomac where they would soon move to South Carolina. Here they would take part in the siege operations against Forts Wagner and Gregg as well as Fort Sumter and Charleston. In April, 1864 they would be ordered back to Virginia where they would be assigned to the Department of Virginia and North Carolina and begin operations against Richmond and Petersburg. On May 16th, the regiment was 2 days into the fight at Drewry’s Bluff. John would be the first of the two brothers to fall. Wounded in the fray on the 16th, he would be left on the field and captured. Transferred to Richmond General Hospital #21, he would succumb to the wound two days later. John would be buried in an unmarked location at the Richmond National Cemetery. Two days later, Henry would be involved in the fight at Bermuda Hundred on May 20th. Later that day he would be killed in action just mere days after his younger brother and buried in Hopewell, Virginia at City Point. One of the many family tragedies recorded throughout the wars history. Both brothers are shown here dressed in New York Jackets with Henry wearing his corporals stripes. Both views are back marked by famed South Carolina photographer Sam Cooley. Presumably the two brothers sat for these two images at the same time. Most likely in August or September of 1863 when the regiment moved to South Carolina and began operations there. The reverse view of Henry has an old pencil inscription on the reverse reading “Henry Common 142’d NY”. Great pair of images that should remain together.

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