Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Ties that Bind: The 104th New York and Tuthill Rich Cut Glass

The 104th New York Volunteer Infantry Monument stands north of and adjacent to Cornfield Avenue at Antietam National Battlefield,  The 104th New York was part of Duryea's Brigade of Rickett's Division of Major General Joseph Hooker's 1st Corps Army of the Potomac.  This unit fought valiantly in the cornfield at Antietam sustaining 82 casualties.

One of those casualties (wounded) was the captain of Company A Henry Guernsey Tuthill.  Henry was born in East Otto, New York on September 25, 1833.  He apprentices as a carpenter and cabinet maker before joining the Drake and Towley Sash and Blind Company in Corning, New York in 1856.   When the civil war broke out Tuthill enlisted and helped recruit Company A of the 104th which was known as Wadsworth Volunteer Infantry.

                                     Captain Henry G. Tuthill

Captain Tuthill saw action at First Bull Run where he was wounded in the right leg.  At Antietam he was struck by a minie ball in the left hand which resulted in the loss of portions of two of his fingers.  Tuthill's leadership at Antietam impressed his commander Brigadier General Abram Duryee who wrote after the battle:
Sir, I take great pleasure in recommending Capt. Henry G. Tuthill of the 104th Regt. as a gallant officer, efficient subordinate and brave. He has been engaged in the following battles: Rappahannock, Bull Run, Chantilly, Thoroughfare Gap, South Mountain, and Antietam, in the latter engagement the Captain was severely wounded and lost several of his fingers. I take especial interest in his welfare and promotion because I have witnessed his courage upon the field of battle and known him to be a reliable officer and it affords me much gratification to present him this my recommendation.
I Have the Honor to be Your Obt. Servt., A. Duryee, Brig. Genl.
P.S. Capt. Tuthill is senior Captain in the Regt. and was at the time of the promotion of Capt. Pray, but was absent with leave on acct. of his wounds.

After Antietam Tuthill returned to Corning to recuperate from his wounds.  While there on December 3, 1862 he was promoted Lt. Colonel tp date from October 21.  He did not report back to the army until December 15, 1862, missing the Battle of Fredericksburg.  Henry was wounded a third time, in the left leg at Chancellorsville and at Gettysburg received a wound in the groin while engaged in the first days fighting.

Henry Tuthill was honorably discharged for disability on November 7, 1863 but he later reenlisted in the reserve corps.  He was finally mustered out of the army with 100% disability on November 6. 1866.

Charles Guernsey Tuthill, Henry's son, who started the Tuthill Cut Glass Company was born On February 5, 1871 in Corning, New York.  As a youth of 16 he apprenticed with the Hawkes Rich Cut Glass Company.  By age 22 he was a master glass cutter and a journeyman engraver.  In 1895 he opened the C. G. Tuthill Cut Glass Company which in 1899 was renamed Tuthill Cut Glass Company.
This company produced some of the finest cut and copper wheel engraved glass produced in the Brilliant Period in America.

It it apropos that both the 104 New York Volunteer Infantry Monument at Antietam and the Rich Cut Glass produced by Charles Tuthill stand as a lasting monument to civil war veteran Henry G. Tuthill.

for additional reading see "The Rich Cut Glass of Charles Guernsey Tuthill" by Mauruce Crofford


  1. Sharon,

    Do you own the two pieces of cut glass photographed here? Are they for sale?