This series consists of 26 watercolours painted by Herbert Eugene Valentine while serving in the Union Army during the Civil War. Documentation relating to the War Department's acquistion of the Valentine sketches was not located. The sketches were probably collected, however, by the Army War College, Historical Section. An annotation on item two in the series indicates that the sketches were received in 1923 from H. E. Valentine, 141 Milk Street, Boston, Massachusettes.
During most of his military service, Valentine served as a clerk in the division headquarters. His duties were episodic allowing him considerable free time which he used to make sketches of military life. His diary, which is in the custody of the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina, contains almost daily entries about the subjects of his sketches.
Pictured in the Valentine watercolors are the Beaufort, South Carolina harbour; forts; guardhouses and guardposts; an army hospital; the steamers Convoy, Escort, and Champion; gunboats running the rebel batteries; a railroad station; graves of soldiers; and army headquarters and field offices at St. Helena, South Carolina, Petersburg and Bermuda Hundred, Virginia, and New Berne, North Carolina. Of the 26 pictures, half show scenes in North Carolina, seven in South Carolina, five in Virginia and one in Annapolis, Maryland.
American soldier, painter, historian and memoirist
He enlisted in the U.S. Army on 5 October 1861 at Salem, Massachusetts. Shortly thereafter, he was mustered into Company F, 23rd Regiment, Massachusetts Volunteers where he served as a clerk and occasionally drew military maps. Valentine was first sent to Annapolis, Maryland and then to North Carolina. While stationed in North Carolina, he took part in the expedition against Roanoke Island, the New Bern campaign, and other engagements.
Later in the war, Valentine served in South Carolina in the vicinity of Port Royal, Hilton Head and St. Helena. In Virginia, Valentine served at Cold Harbor and took part in the siege of Petersburg. Valentine chose not to re-enlist and was discharged on 16 October 1864.
Details of Valentine's life after the Civil War are sketchy. He did return to Massachusetts where he spent the remainder of his life. In 1896, Valentine published Story of Co. F, 23d Massachusetts Volunteers in the War For the Union 1861-1865. He died on 17 June 1917.
The source for this biographical sketch is the inventory of the Herbert Eugene Valentine Papers, Wilson Library, Manuscripts Department, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC 27514.
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