Identified soldiers wallet, two 1865 copper Two-Cent Pieces, and imprinted regimental Sutler Script. These items all belonged to James W. Knowlton of Company "A", 52nd Massachusetts Infantry.
Wear as shown in the photographs, nice identified personal item group.
"After the outbreak of the Civil War in 1861, coinage virtually disappeared in the United States. People feared the worst and held on tightly to their precious metals. So, for just nine years, from 1864 to 1872, the U.S. Mint struck a copper Two-Cent Piece, and it was readily embraced by the American public.
More importantly, it was the very first coin in U.S. history to ever display the motto “In God We Trust.” The coin was struck as a way to show that God was on the side of the Union during the Civil War and that the lives “sacrificed upon the altar of freedom” had not died in vain. As such, the coin also served as a unifying force for citizens who felt that their lives and country were at risk during the war.
Unfortunately, the piece didn’t last – with the release of the Three Cent Nickel in 1865 and the Shield Nickel in 1866, the Two-Cent Piece became less and less used and was finally abolished by the Coin Act of 1873."
"The 52d Regt. Mass. Vol. Mil. was raised in Franklin and
Hampshire Counties in response to the call of Aug. 4, 1862,
for nine months troops. Its rendezvous was Camp Miller,
Greenfield, and here the companies were mustered in on Oct. 2
and 11, 1862. The field and staff having been mustered Nov.
19 on the following day the regiment left for New York,
proceeding thence to Long Island and going into quarters at
Camp Banks where the Banks expedition to Louisiana was being
On the 2d of December the regiment embarked on the
steamer ILLINOIS bound for Louisiana. Touching at Ship Island
and New Orleans, it reached Baton Rouge on the 17th where it
was assigned to Kimball's (2d) Brigade, Grover's (4th)
Division, l9th Corps. The regiment remained at Baton Rouge
until March 13, when with the rest of the corps it
participated in the demonstration against Port Hudson in
cooperation with Farragut's fleet in its attempt to pass the
batteries. This attempt having been partially successful,
the regiment then penetrated to within a few hundred yards of
the enemy's works and held its advanced position for
forty-eight hours, after which it began its return march,
reaching its old camp at Baton Rouge, March 20.
One week later, March 27, it was transferred to
Donaldsonville, and on the 31st started with Grover's Division
up Bayou Lafourche, proceeding to Thibodeau, which place was
reached April 2. Two days later it entrained at Terre
Bonne for Bayou Boeuf whence, on April 9, it marched to
Brashear City. Here, two days later, it took steamer for
Indian Bend on the westerly shore of Grand Lake in an effort
to cut off a Confederate force at Fort Bisland. After the
battle at Indian Ridge, in which the 52d did not participate,
and the escape of the enemy northward, the 52d joined in the
pursuit to New Iberia. Four companies were left here to do
guard duty, while the remainder proceeded on past Opelousas to
Barre's Landing on Bayou Courtableau. Here they remained
until the 21st of May, collecting and guarding supplies and
loading and unloading boats at the landing. On the l9th the
companies left at New Iberia arrived, and on the 21st the
regiment commenced its return march via St. Martinsville to
Brashear City, reaching its destination May 26.
On the 28th the regiment was transported by rail to
Algiers, directly opposite New Orleans, whence it was
transferred by steamer to Springfield Landing just above Baton
Rouge. This place was reached May 30, and thence the regiment
marched to join its brigade before Port Hudson.
After a short expedition to Clinton, June 5 to 8, to
disperse a force of Confederates there, the regiment returned
to its place on the Port Hudson front and participated in the
assault of June 14, losing three men killed and seven wounded,
Captain Bliss mortally.
On the 20th, while guarding a train of wagons near
Jackson's Cross Roads, it was attacked by the enemy. The enemy
was repulsed, but many of the wagons were lost through the
stampeding of the mules. Returning that night to the front at
Port Hudson, the regiment remained there until the surrender of
that place, July 9.
The term of service of the regiment now having expired,
on July 23 it boarded the steamer CHOUTEAU bound for Cairo,
Ill. Arriving at this place July 30, on the same afternoon it
entrained for home. Reaching Greenfield, Mass., Aug. 3, the
men were furloughed until the 14th when they reassembled at
the same place and were mustered out of the service.
Source: Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors & Marines in the Civil War