July 1, 2012

Auctions I Missed

Civil War Grouping of Capt. William D. Reitzel, Co. G, 2nd Penna. Reserves
Sold by Alderfer Auctions in 2010
Although my research on this site primarily relies upon soldiers' accounts published in period newspapers (and occasionally something from the Lancaster County Historical Society), documents and photographs in the hands of private collectors can also play a very important role in telling Civil War stories.  Furthermore, they give a little bit of thrill and tragedy to Civil War research, as you never know what's going to pop up next...and what happens to it after someone buys it. 

Recently, web searches have allowed me to find three auction lots that are very important for our understanding of Lancaster and the Civil War.  Unfortunately, all three lots were from past auction catalogs, so the items are now likely in the hands of private collections.  Coincidentally, all three lots related to officers whose correspondence was regularly printed in Lancaster newspapers.  The auction lots were:
Adam C. Reinoehl
Heritage Auctions, 2008
  1. CDV of Sgt. Major Adam C. Reinoehl.  Heritage Auctions, 2008.  Valedictorian of F&M's Class of 1861, Reinoehl wrote a series of twenty or so very interesting letters from Union operations in South Carolina in 1862-3 and then in Virginia in 1864.  Wounded in the assault on Battery Wagner, I believe this photograph was taken while he recovered from his wound in Lancaster.  See more information in this post I wrote about him back in January.  
  2. Diary of Capt. Emanuel D. Roath, Company E, 107th Pennsylvania.  Cowan's Auctions, June 2011.  Perhaps the most prominent Civil War soldier from Marietta, Lancaster County, Roath frequently wrote about a dozen or so letters to the Weekly Mariettian.
  3. Civil War Grouping of Capt. William D. Reitzel, Company G, 2nd Pennsylvania Reserves.  Alderfer Auctions, March 2010.  Reitzel recruited a company out of Landisville that joined up with the Pennsylvania Reserves as a replacement company in July 1862.  He corresponded occasionally with the Lancaster Daily Inquirer.  
I'm not as concerned about the Reinoehl CDV, as it can be downloaded from the website and duplicates might exist, but not getting to read the Roath or Reitzel diaries, or getting to see the pictures clearly, really eats at me.  If anyone has information about the fate of these primary sources, please let me know.       


  1. I am interested, too. This is my great-great grandfather.

  2. To which of the soldiers listed above are you related?

  3. William D. Reitzel was my great-great grandfather.