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Transferring White Officer to New 107th Regiment U.S.C.T.
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Special orders transferring Captain Charles B. Safford from the 117th Regiment to the newly-organized 107th Regiment of U.S. Colored Infantry.

[LORENZO THOMAS]. Document Signed secretarially for Lorenzo Thomas for Lewis G. Brown, Col. 117th USC Infantry, Louisville, Kentucky, October 7, 1864. 1 sheet, 7¾ x 9¾ in.

Inventory #21263.19       Price: $150

Charles B. Safford (1833-1868) – A native of Gilmanton, New Hampshire, Safford was the son of Rev. Dr. Charles G. Safford (1804-1846), a graduate of Dartmouth College and Andover Theological Seminary, and Mary Lancaster Brigham (1808-1882), who remarried in 1849, to Charles H. Estabrook. Charles G. Safford married Clara Safford on September 25, 1860, and they settled in Malta, De Kalb County, Illinois. When the 105th Illinois Infantry organized at Dixon on Sept. 2, 1862, Safford enlisted as a private.

Safford had relatively strong antislavery views, and his experiences in the South may have strengthened them. After the Emancipation Proclamation went into effect, the federal army began to raise “colored” regiments. Even while in the reserve, Safford witnessed the impact of war. The 105th Illinois was eventually called into action during the Atlanta Campaign, charging the enemy’s works at Resaca on May 13, 1864, and engaging in nearly constant combat for two weeks following. Safford was wounded during the campaign, and wrote to his wife describing the gore in some detail. While recuperating, Safford applied for a commission in a Colored Regiment and was temporarily assigned to the 116th USCT before finally receiving a commission as Captain of Co. H., 107th USCT on Dec. 30, 1864. Organized at Louisville in the late spring and summer 1864, Safford’s new outfit was transferred to the Army of James in October 1864, and then to North Carolina from January through August 1865. They were not an idle regiment. During their service, the 107th took part in the Siege of Petersburg, the expeditions to Fort Fisher in Dec. 1864 and Jan. 1865, the capture of Wilmington (Feb. 22, 1865), and the Carolinas Campaign (Mar-Apr. 1865), including Kinston, Goldsboro, and the advance on Raleigh. They witnessed the surrender of Johnson’s forces in Raleigh. For his part, Safford earned a brevet promotion to Major for meritorious service on March 13, 1865.

From September 1865 until he mustered out in late November 1866, Safford worked at Camp Distribution, Va., shuffling paperwork, completing muster out rolls, and similar bureaucratic necessities of the post-war army. Although he apparently tried to win a commission in the regular army, he did not succeed and wrote that he thought he would return home and paint houses again. Two years after doing so, he died at home in Malta, Illinois, on Oct. 4, 1868.

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