25th North Carolina Infantry
Wounded three times during the War Between The States!
(1839-1921) Born in South Carolina, he attended the University of Virginia. Rutledge, whose grandfather was a signer of the Declaration of Independence, was recalled by a friend as being a, "boyish looking young man of 22, with military education and bearing," but by war's end Rutledge was a battle scarred veteran. He was commissioned lieutenant of infantry in the Provisional Army Confederate States, on May 21, 1861, and was commissioned major of the 25th North Carolina Infantry, on August 15, 1861. He was promoted to lieutenant colonel, on April 29, 1862, and colonel, on May 17, 1862. He was wounded three times during the war; at Malvern Hill, Va., when he was stunned by an artillery shell, but he recovered in time to command his troops with much enthusiasm at Sharpsburg, where he was again wounded, and afterwards was presented with a horse that was bought by his men; he led the regiment at Plymouth in 1864, and briefly commanded the brigade at Drewry's Bluff; he was hospitalized for a gunshot wound in June 1864, but returned to the army, and surrendered with General Lee at Appomattox Court House, Va., on April 9, 1865. Colonel Rutledge recalled, the disheartening day when Grant's army overran the thin Confederate lines at Five Forks, a few days before the final surrender. He wrote, "I was attempting to whip the enemy with the 25th North Carolina, and I knew I could do it. I thought I was getting along finely, until I happened to look to the front, left and right, and saw we were surrounded with but a small loop hole to get through. We backed through that, emptying into their faces the last cartridge we had." After the war he returned to Hampton Hall, his plantation on the Santee River, in S.C., that had been in his family since 1686. In 1918, he revisited the Antietam battlefield with his son and startled a tour guide, who had just regaled some tourists with the story of Henry M. Rutledge, serving as the youngest colonel of the Confederacy in the battle. He maintained his farming operations until he died in 1921. He is buried in St. John's in the Wilderness Cemetery, Flat Rock, N.C.
Wet plate, albumen carte de visite photograph, mounted to 2 1/2 x 4 1/4 card. Standing view, studio pose, wearing a double breasted Confederate colonel's frock coat, rectangular belt plate, and holding his kepi with braiding on it. No imprint. Card is trimmed at the corners to fit into a cdv album. Very fine. Rare and desirable image.
Provenance: An early war time image of Henry M. Rutledge as lieutenant, is published in, "Portraits of Conflict; A Photographic History of North Carolina in the Civil War." You can easily see that the Rutledge cdv that I am offering is in fact the same officer as the one in the published source mentioned above.
The 25th North Carolina Infantry saw action in the 7 Days battles, at Malvern Hill, Harper's Ferry, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Bermuda Hundred, Petersburg, Plymouth, N.C., Five Forks, Sayler's Creek and in the Appomattox campaign, to name a few of their battle honors.
Sources: Units of the Confederate States Army; Histories of the Several Regiments and Battalions from North Carolina in the Great War, 1861-65; and Portraits of Conflict; A Photographic History of North Carolina in the Civil War.