Silver Cased – Tobias Pocket Watch

‘Segt. John B. Bailey was in the Battle of
Yorktown, Williamsburg, West Point, Mechanicsville 1st & 2nd,
Hanover Court House, Seven Pines, Fair Oaks,
Campaign  of the Peninsula’

John B. Bailey was a thirty five year old Auburn, Maine carpenter when he mustered in on June 24, 1861 as a Sergeant of Co. E of
the soon to be hard fought 5th Maine Volunteer Infantry.  He was one of over 450 citizens of Auburn (pop. 4,022) that would serve
in the Union Army and would be among the 52 of his fellow Auburn, Maine patriots who would pay the ultimate price, never to
return to the Maine mill town.  Another 51 would return with war connected disabilities.  

Some bit of research on Sgt. Bailey and close examination of his old key wind watch offers interesting insight.  Well worn from
period use and carrying, the richly aged patina of the decorated silver case still holds the worn identity of the original owner on its
face.  The names of all but the last of his major engagements are engraved, one by one, on the inside.     Recorded as a participant
with his 5th Maine Regiment at the great battle of Gettysburg July 1863, we have found little about Sgt. John B. Bailey beyond this
point with only a 
supposed died notation after the date of October 31, 1863 in official records and a died soon after discharge
notation following his name in Rev. Geo. W. Bicknell’s History of the Fifth Maine Regiment.  All we know beyond this is that
Bicknell never got his watch to the engraver to record his last and most important engagement the
Battle of Gettysburg.

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