• Abraham Lincoln, Cabinet Secretaries Conduct Grand Review Of NY 33rd Regiment

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    HENRY S. JOY of Rochester, NY, enlisted on October 13, 1861 as a 2nd Lieutenant and was commissioned into D Co of the NY 3rd Cavalry. He was promoted to Quarter Master Sergeant on June 8, 1862 (acting) and September 26, 1862 as permanent. He was also promoted to Captain on December 18, 1863.


    Offering a fascinating ledger by Joy, 3 ¾ x 6, which opens on August 20, 1861, and covers a regimental review of the 33rd New York by President Abraham Lincoln and cabinet secretaries William Seward, Simon Cameron and Salmon Chase, with six pages devoted to the review and his ride. Lincoln was “rough and unassuming.”


    In pencil, Joy writes:


    “Went to Chain Bridge August 20 [1861]. Visited the camp of the 33rd [New York], Col. [Robert F.] Taylor. In the afternoon witnessed a review by General McClellan of General [William F.] Smith’s Brigade [Division]. The 31 Regiments composing the brigade [Division] were formed into line—open order—and McClellan and staff rode through scrutinizing closely every man. He is a fine-looking man but has been so much exposed to the hot August sun that he is browned like a Texan.

    “President Lincoln [and] Secretaries Seward, Cameron, Chase were also present and witnessed the firing of the battery which commands the river and the bridge. Lincoln is as rough and unassuming as when he was an ordinary lawyer in Springfield, Illinois. “Pigmies perched on Alps are pigmies still!”

    “Secretary Seward I have always had a great curiosity to see which was fully gratified. He is a different-looking man than I had imagined him to be with a full-leaf Panama Hat which concealed the whole of his countenance but his interminable & exhaustless nose. He resembled a moderate sized toad sitting under an overspreading cabbage leaf.

    “Secretary Chase is a fine-looking man and has a look of intelligence. Of Secretary Cameron I could not look at him without thinking of Pennsylvania Railroad Speculations and what excellent roads they were to transport the soldiers to Washington—superior to all others in the Union. And then again, what great facilities his friends in Philadelphia had for manufacturing clothes &c. &c. No other city could begin with it. And besides, what an excellent place to select Generals from—excellent—glorious institutions of ours and giants to administer the government.

    “Sunday, September 1, 1861—A beautiful day here in Maryland. Everything has the appearance of war. Regiment after regiment are to be seen on every hand. Some two miles from where we are encamped through a romantic country is a fort surrounding a small brick church which is perfectly enclosed by a high embankment of clay and soil with a big ditch in front so as to render it inaccessible to outsiders.  Two miles from there to another, mounting several large guns. And the trees for several miles around have been axed to the ground.


    “Commenced writing for Lieut. Col. Mix on September 4, 1861. Boarding at Brown’s opposite the camp.

    “Left camp Barker__ on Friday, September 14, 1861. In company with Col. [Simon Hosack] Mix, Adjutant Mix, and three companies of cavalry to join Gen. Banks Division. Scott and I came on through the same night to Headquarters. Co. A joined Captain and Lieutenants all right. We are encamped about 1 mile from Darnestown and 5 miles from the Potomac. On this vicinity the country is rough and uneven. There are a great many fine farms. Gen. Banks is within gunshot of our camp. I have seen him several times and like his looks very much and think him a man imminently fitted for the position he occupies.  I was out riding a few days and overtook him and his aid and body guard. We rode on a short distance and met Gen. Scott in a carriage. He stopped, went into the woods, had a short conversation, or rather a lengthy one with General Banks, and returned.”


    The ledger includes about 24 additional pages of quarter master business, including receiving such items as carbines, pistol cap boxes, Navy revolvers and blankets.


    The 3rd New York Cavalry was organized in July 1861 and mustered in on September 9, 1861 at Meridian Hill, Washington, DC. The regiment was engaged in the battles of Edward’s Ferry, Kinston, White Hall, Goldsboro Bridge, For Anderson, Yellow Tavern, Jerusalem Plank Road, Deep Bottom and the Siege of Petersburg.


    After the war, Joy returned to New York and engaged in the furniture business. He was a Democrat and served as an assemblyman representing Wyoming County, NY. It was reported that Joy had “become insane on board a steamer when returning from Florida” in May of 1881.  He was pronounced “incurable and taken to the Utica Insane Asylum” and died a month later.


    The ledger is bound in leather with Joy’s name written on the cover and is in excellent condition. Joy’s writing is quite legible. A fine one of a kind example of Civil War history.


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