Henry Ripley Millett 1856 & 1857 HANDWRITTEN MANUSCRIPT DIARIES BY THE SON OF A DISTINGUISHED MAINE FAMILY WHO GOES ON TO GREAT PERSONAL FAME FOR HIS SERVICE IN THE CIVIL WAR WITH THE 5TH MAINE REGIMENT
LEEDS GOREHAM MAINE CAMPELLO MASS MA 1856 Good+ Autograph
On offer are two mid 19th century, pre Civil War, handwritten manuscript diaries dated from 1856 and 1857 and both belonged to Henry Ripley Millett who was originally from Leeds and Gorham Maine. Henry had quite a distinguished background and would also come to distinguish himself as Colonel Millett of the 5th Maine Regiment during the civil war. [Henry Millett was the cousin of Frank D. Millet, the artist, who was director of decorations for the 1893 Chicago World's Fair Columbian Exposition.] Henry was born in Leeds on September 23rd, 1832. He was the son of Thomas and Elmira A. Day Millet. His great-grandfather, Thomas Millet was a patriot soldier in the revolution. Henry received a good education in the common schools of Palmyra and St. Albans. In 1851 when he was 19 years old he went to Campello Massachusetts and worked in a shoe factory and this is where the diaries pick up, while he's in Campello. He stayed in there until about 1858, headed home to Gorham and in 1861 enlisted in Company A, 5th Maine Regiment, Sixth Corps, Second Brigade, First Division. Online resources provide: "He served with distinguished bravery in some of the most momentous engagements of the war, including the first battle of Bull Run, West Point, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Salem Heights, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, Rappahannock Station, Spotsylvania Court house, Cold Harbor [where his brother Obed was killed], the second battle of Bull Run, the second engagement at Fredericksburg, and Gaine's Mill…." He was wounded numerous times during some of these battles, but also that he went home "loaded with honors." After the war he married in 1870 to M. Antoinette, daughter of Freeman Whitney of Portland. The 1856 diary is about ½ full of handwritten entries, the 1857 diary only has 300+ days. Here are some snippets - and some are shocking: "Steel not this book, the fear of your life. For the owner carries a great big knife." 1856 "January 21st, I haven't Nig-er killed eny today." "January 22nd, Today the boys have all gorne on a sleigh ride. Started about 5 o'clock p.m. They numbered 15 sleighs. Came in about 3 a.m." "February 6th, This morning I have been to a fire up to the village. The colored saloon burnt. We had a pretty hard time." "February 17th, I am now writing in the Quincy House, Boston. I came in yesterday and have had a first rate time. Went to ___way's Hall last evening." "February 22nd, This is Washington's birthday and is memory of that great man. All bells was rung this morning at sunrise." "March 25th & 26th, This evening I have been down to Mrs. Watson's. I wished on Amandie's ring for 3 months……Amanda I wish you a happy life and success in all your undertakings….." "March 27th, Sailed today, the ship Savannah bound for New Orleans. Samuel L. Millett 2nd officer." "April 7th, I ame now writing with my book on Henrietter's lap. I am having a first rate time. I wish that I could always be as happy as I am now." "May 22nd, Today I have started for Plymouth. I am now safely loged in the Monument House." "August 29th, O how meny times in my life I have thought of what now appears to be the fact. That sometime sooner or later we must all-----" "August 30th, This is a very long and lonesome evening to me. I am some times on the point of leaving Campello for sum distant land but one thing keeps me here." "September 26th, I am now performing at the husking at the Widow Tibett's. I have just done justice to the supper table." "October 17th, Spent the evening at L.M.W. had a good time, never was happier in my life than when I am there when Henretta is pleasant." "November 1st, We have had a strong S.W. wind to day. The anticipated trouble has at last arrived and I am bound to -------" "November 4th, Election day. Town, country and state election day. I have cast my first presidential vote today with a clear conscious." "December 26th, This evening I have hurd some thing that I did not expect to hear. My mind is at changed and I shall take a different course." 1857 "January 1st, Today is the first day in the year and I must try to do what is right and then I shall be happy and if I live to see the end of this year I hope I shall look upon it with pleasure and not with regret." "January 3rd, Today I left Campello for Boston with a horse & sleigh accompanied by A. C. Ambrose. It has snowed all day." "January 29th, Pleasant. Mother died this morning at 9 ½ o'clock." "February 26th, Pleasant. Have been meditating on the idea of leaving Campello. I am lonely in this place now and think I shall leave if I can do as well in any other place." "March 25th, Have been to work today but it is rather lonesome. I some times think that this world is a blank to me for I never receive any comfort from it." "March 26th, I have been thinking of past times today and so judging from what I have experienced I think that the future looks dark." "April 4th, I am now at the Mansion. Here I am 10 o'clock at the Mansion House, just going to bed to dream if what I have seen this morning. May your dreams be pleasant." "April 28th, Have been to take a short ride this evening. Went to the east. Lucy is here yet and I am in love, love on, love ever." "June 3rd, Pleasant. I watched with the corpse last night. G. J. Kingman and ____ Davis Jr." "June 9th, I left Campello today at N. for Portland on an excursion with the Enterprise Engine on No. 2." "June 24th, I have been up town this afternoon. Got my ambrotype taken but it looked so bad that I smashed it before I got home." "July 28th, I left Campello this morn for quarantine. Boston to asertain the perticulars in regards to the death of my brother which occurred on the 9th." "August 17th, No. ___have been up to the West Sharon today. We had a siport dinner and speeches from N. B. Drake, Capt. Lucas, Capt. H. Capt. Clappe and others." "September 12th, A sad accident happened here today. A little Irish boy got his skull broke." "September 24th, Fire last night. The alarm was given between 11 & 12 o'clock. L. T. Howard's house and barn and other out buildings was completely burned." "October 4th, Great excitement here today. Grease pig chase and foot rase. John Sears and Morton Copland prize." "November 4th, I left Campello this morn, arrived in Boston, stopped there until 5 p.m. then left for Portland on board the steamer Lewiston." Much much more including handwritten expense entries in the back and then several of the pages are used like an autograph book where friends and acquaintances have signed and written some kind of sentiment. Overall G+.