Title: Edgar H. Klemroth sketches Creator: Klemroth, Edgar H. Inclusive dates: 1864 Extent: 45 pages Abstract:
Private Edgar H. Klemroth drew this collection of "Very Rough Sketches" while
serving in the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment near Winchester, Virginia, during the
winter of 1864-1865. The sketches depict soldiers, horses, army camps and headquarters,
equipment, African Americans, and winter scenes.
Language: The material is in English Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave. The University of Michigan Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190 Phone: 734-764-2347 Web Site: www.clements.umich.edu
Cataloging funded by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission
(NHPRC). This collection has been processed according to minimal processing
procedures and may be revised, expanded, or updated in the future.
Edgar H. Klemroth Sketches, William L. Clements Library, The University of
Edgar Halstead Klemroth was born in New York City on September 24, 1837 and worked as a
book binder in Philadelphia in the years before the Civil War. He enlisted in the 17th
Pennsylvania Infantry Regiment before joining the 6th
Regiment of the Pennsylvania Cavalry Volunteers' Company A of the 2nd U.S. Cavalry
Division as a Corporal on August 24, 1861. Klemroth was tried in a General Court Martial
held by the 6th Regiment for absence without leave. He was accused of leaving on
September 13, 1862, the night before a minor battle near Jefferson, Maryland, after
visiting a surgeon for heart palpitations. He then traveled to Washington D.C. during
his unauthorized departure and did not return to duty until October 8, 1862. Klemroth
pleaded not guilty to leaving the area but pleaded guilty to absence without leave,
arguing that he followed orders, ended up lost, and went to D.C. in hopes of finding his
unit. He was found guilty of the charges, reduced in rank from corporal to private, and
his monthly pay was reduced by six and a half dollars for six months. Klemroth
reenlisted on January 1, 1864, and by August of 1864, he was on "detached duty", serving
under General Torbert in the Shenandoah campaign. On August 7, 1865, he was discharged
from the army as a Private of the 2nd Pennsylvania Provisional Cavalry Regiment.
After the war, Klemroth lived in Washington, D.C., with his wife, Mary Quinn, and their
four children, John, Louisa, William, and Edgar. After Mary's death in 1886, he
remarried Florence Shick on October 19, 1887. Following the war, Klemroth worked as a
government architect, frequently supervising the construction of federal buildings
across the country. He was also an active member of both the Washington Architectural
Club and the Union Soldiers' Alliance. Klemroth died at the age of 96 on May 5, 1934,
and is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
Private Edgar H. Klemroth drew these "Very Rough Sketches" (45 pages) while serving in
the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry Regiment during General Philip Henry Sheridan's campaign in
Shenandoah from August 1864 to March 1865. Klemroth later presented them to Captain
Rudulph Ellis of the 6th Pennsylvania Cavalry. The materials include pencil sketches,
ink drawings, and wash drawings; a few of the pages contain more than one image. The
original black leather binding (15.2 x 24.5 cm) is included in the back of Volume 3.
Underneath some of the sketches are faint, hand-written lines of poetry pulled from
works of various poets. Klemroth's illustrations show a variety of military scenes,
including army camps, winter headquarters near Winchester, and wagons and supply trains
in the Virginia countryside. Many sketches highlight the hardships of camp life.
Soldiers are shown on horseback and at leisure, sometimes eating, talking, or watching
equestrian and mule races. Images 26 and 27 feature soldiers firing during a skirmish,
and another (image 10) shows a dog mourning over its dead Confederate owner's
body. African Americans, including a young boy and men racing on mules, appear in a few
of the drawings. Portraits of General Philip Henry Sheridan, General George Custer,
Captain Rudulph Ellis, Brigadier General David Allen Russell, First Lieutenant John
Spreadbury, and men in Klemroth's regiment (including scouts) are also present. Some of
the items are dated November 1864 or December 1864, and some have descriptions of images
written on the back.
1. Very Rough Sketches, Presented to Captain R. Ellis by Edgar H.
2. Demoralized condition of the 2d Cavalry Division, in the Shenandoah
Valley. The Inspecting officer, on his Tour of duty, approaches a sentry
(dismounted cavalry) who appears to be in doubt, either as, to the officers
Rank, or the proper manner of saluting
3. A few Domestic Comforts for the officers. This Indicates a forward
movement the few little House-hold chattels on the wagon are being conveyed to
a place of safety in case the Regiment might return; the Trooper in the rear
has kindly loaned his horse (by command of his officer) to make up the
4. The misfortunes of war. This indicates a retro-gate movement, the
small citizen on the tall horse on the left is Wilson; reporter, for the
Herald, the tall man on the very small horse in the center is Genl Custar's
[Custer] Adjutant General, his own horse being shot, and his magnificent saddle
and bridle in the hands of the Enemy who are following up close, the Individual
in the rear is supposed to be OKeefe of Genl Sheridan's staff, horse killed
also, but more fortunate than the Prussian he has secured his saddle
5. Shenandoah Nov. 1864. Returning from a Raid.
This was another backward movement, the General marched his Troopers to
Jackson's Hill, and, as the Rebels obstinatly refused to get out of the way,
marched them back again, the melancholy aspect of the staff is caused by the
6. Head Quarters, General Sheridan, near Winchester Va. Nov.
7. A darkey mule race
8. The Forge
9. [Untitled sketch showing two soldiers standing with a dog and two
10. The Rebel soldier's dog
11. Winter Amusement, a race at Army Hd. Qrts., Red Eye