Lot 10

Rare Pre-Civil War Southern Daguerreotype of DeWitt C. Farmer, 11th Mississippi Infantry, CSA
Sixth plate daguerreotype of a well-dressed Southern gentleman identified in ink behind image as DeWitt C. Farmer / Taken by A. Stephens / Clarksville, Tenn. / March 24th '55. See Portraits of Conflict - A Photographic History of Mississippi in the Civil War to see a portrait of Farmer in uniform.

Dewitt Clinton Farmer decided to leave his life as a farmer and join the Noxubee Rifles in April 1861 at the age of 23. The unit Farmer joined became Co. F of the 11th Mississippi Infantry, CSA, and his regiment was one of the first from Mississippi to reach Virginia. In July 1861 at the Battle of Bull Run, Brig. Gen. Bernard Bee's brigade contained the 4th Alabama, the 2nd Mississippi, and Co.'s A and F of the 11th Mississippi. Although Confederate troops broke under the Union troops attack early in the battle, they began falling into line as the battle raged on, eventually forcing the Union soldiers to head toward Washington. Bee died during the First Battle of Bull Run. Twenty-eight men were wounded from the two companies of the 11th MS, but Farmer escaped injury (Roberts & Moneyhon, 1993: 51).

The 11th MS went on to participate in several major battles, including the Battle at Seven Pines, near Richmond, VA, Gaines Mill, and the 2nd Battle of Manassas. In Sept. 1862, under John Bell Hood, the 11th MS met Federal Joseph Hooker's First Corps near Sharpsburg, suffering 117 casualties. In Nov., the 2nd, 11th, and 42nd MS formed a new brigade with the 55th North Carolina led by Joseph Robert Davis, Jefferson Davis' nephew. In July 1863, the 11th suffered its greatest losses, incurring 340 casualties. The 11th went on to participate in the battles of Wilderness, Talle's Mill, Spotsylvania Court House, and Bethesda Church. In April 1865 after defending the area around the city of Petersburg, the 11th MS was captured by Gen. Grant's forces. Farmer surrendered with the Army of Northern Virginia and returned to his home in Noxubee County, MS following the war. He died there in Nov. 1871. (Information obtained from the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, May 11, 2011.)
Est $1000 - $1500