CIVIL WAR CORRESPONDENCE,
LETTER GROUPS, AND EPHEMERA

 

Forget 1969... this is Woodstock in 1863!!


669. (LINCOLN'S WASHINGTON) Manuscript document, on 8vo letterhead of "Headquarters, Provost Marshal's Office, Washington, D.C.", 17 Nov. 1863; with matching "Official Business" corner-card envelope, hand-carried to the "Field Officer of the Day." The document, marked "Confidential" at top, simply gives the military countersign for Tuesday, 17 November; and that secret word was "'Woodstock'"! During the Civil War the capital was basically a huge armed camp, and even civilians often needed passes or permission from sentries to get in and out of the city. Members of the military would be challenged for the countersign, and risk arrest on suspicion if they did not know it. This item is dated the day before President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg to deliver his immortal address; and on the very day that most of his official Washington guests took the train for that hamlet (maybe some of them had to mutter "Woodstock" to get through!). The document is near fine; the envelope is rather soiled and slightly trimmed at left, taking 2 letters of the corner card. A fun item, as featured in The Rail Splitter (back cover, Winter 2001). (Est. $100-200)
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670. [ARCHIVE] The Civil War Papers of Gilbert M. Elliott. A good archive of 70 pieces (88p. approx.), both printed and manuscript, dating between March 1862 and November 1863 retained by Gilbert M. Elliot (1840-1863), an ordnance officer attached to the 102nd New York. He was killed at Lookout Mountain on November 24, 1863. The 102nd New York saw action at Second Manassas, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, as well as Chattanooga. Much of the correspondence concerns the most critical issue of supplies including food, ammunition as well as the logistics of moving an army through the countryside. Of interest are several orders related to tGettysburg when the regiment was attached to Geary's Division, including two Letters Signed, June 16, 1863 one from adjutant Thomas H. Elliott ordering the division "to be in readiness to march to-morrow morning at (3) three o'clock...". The other specifies the order of march. Geary's division was of course moving in response to the Confederate northward advance into Pennsylvania. Also includes a manuscript copy of Meade's general orders for July 17, 1863 detailing the nature of "Transportation and Camp & Garrison Equipage established" for the Army of the Potomac two weeks following Gettysburg. If there is truth to the adage that an army marches on its stomach, then it most certainly ran on paperwork! The collection includes a wide variety of letters both to and from Elliott as well as documents including requisition forms, printed circulars from the Ordnance Office, blank furlough authorizations, property receipts, muster rolls, printed general orders, morning reports, property vouchers, provision returns, blank enlistment and discharge forms, among others. Also of interest is a list of the sharpshooters from the 11th Maine as well as manuscript copies of orders from Generals George McClellan, John W. Geary, and others. Overall the collection provides an excellent glimpse into daily life of an ordnance officer. (Est. $700-900)
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Great California history!
671. A law firm's account of cases in U.S. district court, San Francisco area and Nevada territory, 1860-1865. Cases include suits involving gold, wine, mining stock, stagecoach accident, insurance. Among people mentioned are Samuel F.B. Morse, in a law suit against various telegraph companies. A law firm's account of cases in U.S. district court, San Francisco area and Nevada territory, 1860-1865. Cases include suits involving gold, wine, mining stock, stagecoach accident, insurance. Among people mentioned are Samuel F.B. Morse, in a law suit against various telegraph companies. The 640p. book measures 9 x 14 and is dated 1860-1865. Each page is devoted to an individual case involving San Francisco's Shafter law firm. Leather cover and spine are worn with cracks but, overall, in good condition. Weight: 7.5 pounds. Highlights include: Page 17. c. May 1860: "For Circuit Court of the U.S. Northern Dist. Cal. Samuel F.B. Morse et al v. The Placerville & St. Joseph Telegraph Company. Injunction & account. Retainer $1000 & $500 more if Plffs prevail in Circuit Court". Page 31: "For U.S. Circuit Court Northern District. Saml F.B. Morse et al v. The Alta Telegraph Co. see p. 17. Submitted brief for Complainants. Injunction ordered. Paid." Page 62: "For 4th District Court, changed to 10th Dist. City & Co. San Francisco. Elizabeth LeRoy v. the Cal. Stage Co. no fee. Action damages overturning Stage. 1860. Sept. 13. Filed complaint - issued Sum...." Page 122: "The 4th District Court. San Francisco. Veuve Clequot Pousardin & Jean Werle doing business under the firm name of Veuve Clequot v. Bernhard Hirsch. Injunction to restrain deft. From selling of wine manufactured by any other person than Plffs. under the name of 'Veuve Clequot Champagne'. 1861 Jany 28. Sum & injunction served on deft." Seven entries follow. Last entry: "Aug. Discontinued by order plff." Pages 169-204 were suits brought by individuals against "The City of San Francisco", June 6-8, 1861. Each is noted to be a "City Slip Suit". "City Slip" was a term applied in the 1850's and 1860's to the water-covered area of San Francisco (today within Clay, Sacramento, Davis and East Streets). It had been left open for the purposes of navigation. The City sold it in December, 1853. Ten years of litigation followed between the purchasers and the city, ending in a compromise in 1863. A "City Slip Suit" originally filed in 1855 is on Page 220: "1855 Dec. 26. Cause entered, complaint filed & summons issued." After entries in 1861 and 1862, the final four entries are dated September 18-22, 1863: "Filed findings & Judgment. Served with notice of motion for New Trial. Motion for New Trial overruled. Notice of appeal given...." On Page 260 is penned: "Shafters, Heydenfeldt & Goold". Point Reyes is located approximately 30 miles north of San Francisco along the west coast of California. From the National Park Service's Point Reyes National Seashore Official website: "As land was sold to the new immigrants [after the Gold Rush of 1849], the title to the land usually became ensnared in litigation. During a five-year period ending in 1857, the San Francisco law firm of Shafter, Shafter, Park, and Heydenfeldt obtained title to over 50,000 acres on the peninsula, encompassing the coastal plain and most of Inverness Ridge. Unlike the small dairy operations pre-existing on the peninsula, these Vermont-native lawyer/businessmen saw the opportunity to market large quantities of superior quality butter and some cheese under a Point Reyes brand to San Francisco. The remote location of Point Reyes would be overcome with the expeditious delivery of finished products and livestock to the foot of Market Street by way of small schooners, and eventually by rail and ferry." The law firm of Shafters, Heydenfeldt and Goold was the successor to Shafter, Shafter, Park, and Heydenfeldt. There are cases involving a "George Hearst" on pages 362 (November 1, 1862) and 375 (October 3, 1862 Nevada Territory). There was a George Hearst who lived in Nevada in the late 1850's, returned to his home in Missouri, went west again and arrived in San Francisco in 1862. His son, publisher William Randolph Hearst was born in 1863. George Hearst later represented California in the U.S. Senate (1886, 1887-1891). This may or not be that George Hearst. Other cases include "claim for $500 price of ten Spanish horses" (Page 262), "$30,000 damages for injuries done to plff. by deft. cattle" (Page 335), "suit for converting gold dust & coin" (Page 338). "In the First Dist Court, Story County, Nevada Territory" (Page 375). On Page 396 is a January 22, 1863, case in "1st Dist. Court Nevada Territory. Answer of Spiro S. Action to cancel certain notes & to transfer certain Mining Stock". On Page 449 is penned: "Shafters & Goold", probably indicating the law firm's new name. On Page 452: "Freedonia Gold & Silver Mining Company vs John Golvin & John Doe & Wells Fargo & Company, Replevin to recover $8000 in Gold Bullion". Page 467: "Suit to recover $30000. Damages for injuries by bursting of Steamboat boiler of Ada Hancock". Page 525: "To recover $602 prom note in Gold", Page 557: "action for damages for slander & milicious (sic) arrest". A historic record of the cases handled by a renowned San Francisco law firm in the early years of California statehood. (Est. $2,500-4,500)
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Absolutely GREAT content... well worth the read!
672. Antietam Soldier's Letter. Extremely fine content A.L.S. "Tom", a member of Company C of the 125th Pennsylvania, 4pp., 5 x 7 1/2", Maryland Heights, October 5, [1862], describing his participation in the Battle of Antietam (Sharpsburg) on September 17, 1862. He writes in part: "...You asked in your letter who took charge of the Colours after Geo[rge] Simpson was shot, for my part I did not see anything of them myself as my position was at the right end of the company, when the firing commenced, I stepped some four paces in the advance of the company line as I was more afraid of being shot by the rear rank, than by the rebels, I got down on my knees and loaded and fired as fast as I could deliberately, as there is no use wasting ammunition shooting into trees, the order to retreat was given to our company three times before it was obeyed, until I turned around to retreat I did not know there was a single man hurt, the first man I saw was Nicholas Decker badly wounded about the ankle, his ankle bone shattered badly Capt. [William] Wallace, Lieut. [William B.] Zeigler, and I helped him behind a large tree where we were compelled to leave him (we have since heard form him he is in one of the Hospitals, his leg was amputated below the knee) after I came out into the field about twenty paces, a member of the 102d New York scrambled up off the ground and prayed me to help him, of course I could not refuse if my life paid the forfeit I assisted him the whole way over the field to a place of safety under fire, and perhaps it was my act of mercy to him that saved me, the only running I did was across the field to get out of the range of our battery which was beginning to open on the enemy before I had gotten away from the front of it; but to return to the colors the true version of the affair as nearly as can be ascertained is as follows, George Simpson was shot dead in the ranks in the woods the colours were then picked up by a boy in Capt Greggs company by the name of Eugene Boblitz he carried them some thirty paces when he received a ball in his leg and fell, a young fellow in our company by the name of Peterson then called to Walter Greenland, 'there is the Colours' bring them off! Walter pricked them up carried them some thirty or forty paces and handed them to Capt. Wallace who brought them off the field..." The official regimental history of the 125th Pennsylvania confirms this account noting that "Five color-bearers were killed, but the men fought with the courage and steadiness of veterans." The regiment lost about 150 killed and wounded. Tragically for Tom, Nicholas Decker, whom he helped off the field and then had to abandon, died of his wounds on October 11, 1862. Usual folds, else fine condition. One of the better battle descriptions we have seen in some time. (Est. $400-600)
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673. Pair of illustrated lettersheets - Union soldier's letters. Good content A.L.S. of Pvt. Emory Carey of the 57th New York writes his mother, 3pp. 5 x 8 1/4" in ink and then in pencil on Massachusetts patriotic letterhead, "Camp California", March 2, 1862. Carey writes in part: "...I am well at present and fat and lazy as a hog. The news of the late victories caused great rejoicing here and credited a desire among the boys to go on to Richmond via Bulls run and Manases [sic] We have had orders for a week to have every thin packed ready to march at an hours notice. Where we are going I don't [know] but the Colonel says we are to leave the tents and go where there is some fun to be had I think we are to go down the Potomac to clear out some of the Rebel Batteries down that way but can't say for certain..." Emery's regiment would be heading to the Peninsula under McClellan. The 57th would continue to have "some fun" at Antietam, where they lost nearly 100 men . Fredericksburg was not much better where they lost 87 out of 192 engaged. The regiment would loose another 34 at Gettysburg. Offered together with a second letter, by one Asa Halsy[?] , 3pp., 5 x 8", Baltimore, Dec. 13, 1862, mostly in pencil. In part: "... wee [sic] have benn [sic] cal[le]d for Bat[t]le six regiment left yestardy [sic]for Chambersburg the fiting now we have not had...the Bat[t]le goes well..." Both letters in fine condition. (Est. $400-500)
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An early reference to "Uncle Sam."

674. Civil War Letter. Wonderful correspondence from "Henry" to his brother in Poolsville, MD, Feb. 19, 1863, 4p., on large format stationery with an engraving of "Washington City." Henry spends the first part of the letter describing the sights in Washington, D.C. and pinpointing them on the letterhead illustration: "...I was mustered into Uncle Sam's service on Jan. 15, 1863..." He denies rumors that he had been in the hospital, although he visited the sick and wounded: "...If I am sick I will write to you myself and tell you just how I am for I prefer to have you hear direct than get it by rumor... Since I wrote last I have seen hard times as far as my feelings are concerned. Two more of my men died Feb. 17 & 18 and another is hanging between life and death. All are nearly the same age, about 20... I feel it is dreadful to have my men dying so around me and feel myself powerless to help them." He ends on an upbeat note, describing a visit "over the lines" to a regimental wife. "...Mrs. H. is one of the prettiest women I ever saw." Light age, excellent content. (Est. $250-300)
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"My patriotism has been at fever heat ever since Fort Sumpter was bombarded..."

675. An interesting ALS, 4p., August 29, 1861 from Wallingford, VT to "Cousin Julia" from "E." In part: "What wonderous changes have come over the land since I saw you! War, which was then hardly in perspective has now become a stern reality, and bids fair to be still sterner. My patriotism has been at fever heat ever since Fort Sumpter was bombarded, and as no alternative but fighting has been left us I want it done in good earnest. Such running as we had at Bull Run does not meet my views at all, but the comfortable home lives which our volunteers have led are not just the thing to make stern soldiers. I have no doubt of the courage of the men who have so readily responded to the call of their country's danger, and we shall yet have reason to be proud of our volunteer soldiering. It is terrible to think of the scenes that must be enacted before this nation can sit in peace under the tree of liberty! God help us, for vain is the help of man! But I must not fill my letter with war and carnage though that is uppermost in my thoughts and often gives character to my sleeping visions..." Letter also mentions family and friends including those gone to war. A great missive. (Est. $150-250)
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Serving in Texas with a U.S. Colored Regiment.

676. A great post-war Union officer's letter, 4p., written in ink by Adjutant Romaine A. Barnes, 31st U. S. C. T., Roma, Tx., Aug. 12, 1865 to his brother concerning the experiences of a colored regiment's adjutant while he served in the Army of the Rio Grande, reading, in part: "...my last letter...was written while we lay at White's Ranche near Brazos Santiago. We left White's Ranche...a month ago...we were...twelve days on the road...quite a number were sun struck. Roma is about one hundred and fifty miles from Brazos...Roma is situated on a bluff of the Rio Grande which is navigable to this point by small flat bottom steamers. The town contains two or three hundred inhabitants most of whom speak...Spanish...the country is rolling & somewhat broken and is almost a desert. It is covered with an undergrowth of prickly brush...and cactus. It rarely ever rains...to the west the country rises slowly from the river...and bounded at...the west by the Sierra Madre...to the southward the view is equally grand and looks like a fruitful country but...is found to produce little else than cactus and low bushes...corn and water melons are raised in abundance...grapes grow very finely in Mexico...the country opposite is held by the liberals. We rec'd a visit from a col., a couple of majors & others a few days ago. They seemed to enjoy themselves...[and] got gloriously tight...at night a Fandango was gotten up by the citizens in their honor. I attended and was much amused at the attempts at dancing among those who do not understand a word that is said. The Mexicans are superb dancers...our baggage was left on the bank of the river at White's Ranche ...and has not yet made its appearance...". Overall, a very descriptive letter from an officer of a regiment that served in the Battle of the Crater the year previous. (Est. $200-300)
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677. Union Home Front Letter. A.L.S. of Jesse P. Livingston and Jennie Livingston to their brother, 4p., 8vo., Dansville, [N.Y.], Mar. 20, 1865, toward the end of the war. In part: "...about the draft... now there seems to be some difficulty in procuring the men for they are not as plenty as they were before the money was raised. I think they waited almost too long... now if they can not furnish their quota by volunteers then the draft will have to come money or not. Some say there is about nine hundred... this district has an unusually large quota to fill because under the last call they were mostly all one year men... [Pvt.] Alfred Van Wormer [4th N.Y., P.O.W., Oct. 12, 1864] is home at present. He is a paroled prisoner from Libby Prison, Richmond. His parole for thirty days... I guess Jeff Davis or any of his crew will not catch him... again..." Usual folds, else fine. (Est. $100-200)
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678. An Indiana Cavalryman will Vote for "Abe & Andy."
ALS of one George W. Ross of Co. G, 8th Indiana Cavalry, 4p., "Camp near Nashville Tenn.", 20 June 1864, to his sister Rebecca at Miami Town, Ind.; with its stamped envelope. George comments about his improved health, rains that made them "a little wet around the edges", passage home of the 15th Indiana, and the nearby country which is the nicest he ever saw, and before the war was "almost the wealthiest in the United States. The owners of some of the largest plantations are Rebels and have Deserted and went with the Rebs We had a temporary election the other evening for Precedent. Our Co went unanimous for Lincoln & Johnson. There was 5 or 6 would not vote. They are waiting on the Chicago convention. They are verry anxious for McClellan to be nominated for precedent. Every honest and Loyal man will vote for Abe & Andy at least I will if I get out of the Service this fall " (in fact soldiers were allowed to vote in the field, for the first time in American history). He adds that "a few men in the Regiment have little enough sense to vote for valandingham if they could " (Clement L. Vallandigham, virulent copperhead Congressman from Ohio, had returned north after being exiled to the Confederacy by President Lincoln). In a semiliterate hand; punctuation, etc., added here for clarity. Sharp old folds a bit worn and soiled, mainly on the last page, but over all very good. (Est. $100-150)
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679. (WARTIME THANKSGIVING) Conjoined ink letters from brother "Rich" and "Mother" to a Union soldier, John, 3-1/3 pages in all, 8vo, no place (apparently Illinois), 6 Aug. 1863. Betwixt news of neighbors, hot weather and the harvest, Rich comments: "I will not write much as you are on the move and may never get it. This is thanksgiving day by Proclamation of the President and we have meeting at the School house. Preaching by Mr. Park's brother. John Wiley is home on furlowe and has something to say about Vicksburg siege." He continues next day: "We went to meeting yesterday evening and the Preacher made a good war speech, he give rebels and copperheads thunder I believe people are more zealous in the union cose [cause] now than they have been since the war began. No draft yet in Illinois..." In her note, "Mother" complains that "it seems to me as much as you have been sick they might let you come home I want to see you very bad, do your best to get furlough." In a semiliterate hand; punctuation, etc. added here for clarity. Some fold faults, tenderness and discoloration, with a couple of small holes clear of writing, but an uncommon mention of Lincoln's first general Thanksgiving Proclamation. (Est. $100-150)
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680. [Confederate] Letter from patient at hospital, written in pencil on ruled paper, 2pps., Chimbarazo Hospital, September 25, 1864, together with postally-used envelope addressed to a James Sutherland, Palmyra, Havana County, VA. Post-marked Richmond, no stamp. In part: "...The authorities have made a drain on the hospitals around town for convalescents to guard prisoners and all other duty necessary... a very large regiment was collected from all the hospitals... we received a good many prisoners here this week from Point Lookout -- sick, most of them have been furloughed poor fellows they look lowly & much care worn...The war news is not at all cheering. Just now Genl. Earley has met with a very painful disaster. I am sorry but such is the fate of war...also reports that Gov. Brown of Geo has withdrawn his troops from the Confederate forces and is going into the Union, that is a report, I give it for what it is worth..." Great content, some lightness in areas, else good. (Est. $200-300)
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681. A cynical view of how the war would proceed. Civil War letter. Headquarters, 7th Regt., Co. E, Camp Buckingham, Sept. 25th 1861. Written on patriotic stationery from Charles E. Palmer to "Friend Hubbard." A fine, somewhat pessimistic letter. The writer tells of difficulties in getting a pass to town in order to obtain some whiskey. He also complains of having to spend considerable time reading and memorizing Hardee's Tactics: "It looks tough to see the smoke from the woods fired by the secessionists rising in our faces daily, and be able to do nothing, especially when it comes from the ground formerly occupied by our forces. But we live on hopes, and in Gen. McClellan's own good time, a movement will probably be made." He doesn't think the South will be subdued in the three years of his enlistment, and decries the poor rate of Northern enlistments. "The South will have the most men and the war will be a succession of Bull Runs, Big Bethels and Lexingtons." Minor separation at some folds else fine. (Est. $200-250)
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682. Hanging traitors in the North! Soldier's letter signed "Howard", Jackson, TN, March 20, 1863, to his cousin Abbie, 4pps. "...We are still in the same camp we were when I last wrote... As for the war, I was thinking it will last a good while unless the Government does something with those Traitors in the Northern States. I don't think this war will come to a close until a draft and a heavy one takes place. I for one am in favor of it. Oh there's so many Southern sympathizers in the Northern States. All I wish is that I could have the disposal of them. If I had they would be hung higher than Hayman..."
(Est. $100-150)
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683. [Civil War Correspondence] Three (3) soldier's letters, dated March and April 1864, from Camp Bullock and "Camp near Brandy Station," by William H.H. Mitchell, Co. A. 141st Reg. Pa. Vols. to his sister Hatty. These are three very charming letters. Mitchell may have been a participant at Gettysburg. "I have been on duty to day chopping and drawing wood for the officers and head quarters loafers. But as chaps have to carry our wood three quarters of a mile or go cold and eat raw food... We have plenty of soft bread, pork, beans, dried apples, beef (and we buy taters & lasses) and lots of coffee. You know I like that and we make it good & stout -- stout enough to hold up an egg...Father wrote that Mortimer Price was married. I wonder if she has got red hair. Guess she don't know much else she wouldn't have had him... You answer my letters the best of any one but don't let anyone see this it is too silly...I don't think Lemon [his hometown] can turn out a very decent crowd anymore, for there is none but copperheads and cowards left (except some few loyal men who are too old to go to the war)... I heard of uncles death... He must have suffered a great deal; you can get some idea from that how a soldier suffers that is tore to pieces by a canon ball or a shell, he had plenty of friends around him; a soldier suffers and dies without any friend around him that is the difference...Our captain has been away ever since the Gettysburg fight on detachment duty... About a week ago the Sixth Corps or Birneys Division went out on a raid... Killpatrick started the same time we did but he has not come back yet... go to bed you little minx and no sparking to night..." (Est. $250-300)
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684. Confederate Soldier's Letter. Good content A.L.S. of Corp. William D. Kirkpatrick, Co. D, 24th Mississippi Infantry, 2pp. 7 3/4 x 9 3/4", Chattanooga, Tenn., August, 10, 1862 concerning collecting Union deserters and swimming in the Tennessee River. In part: "...it is a bad chance for a sick feller to get well in camp. We are expecting a fight...every day. The Yankees are on one side of the Tennessee river & we are on the other [and] to a swimming... we have taken several prisoners since we have got to this place & several has deserted & come to us..." Usual folds, else fine condition. (Est. $200-250)
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685. Salmon Chase questions the title to a pair of Merchant vessels. A good war-date manuscript copy of an official letter, 2p. 7 3/4" x 9 3/4", [Washington], August 20, 1861, to the Collector of Customs at Eastport, Maine warning him to investigate the ownership of two merchant vessels about to enter his port. Chase suspected that the ships, Alice Bale and Peter Marcy were owned by Confederate investors. He writes in part: "...It appears that these vessels are now on their way from Liverpool and London where they arrived from New Orleans under the flag... with papers, issued under pretended authority of the insurgents, in lieu of their American Marine papers surrendered up by Peter Marcy, a part owner residing at that port... The said vessels in accordance with existing laws... however, you shall be satisfied that the vessels are wholly owned by loyal citizens of the United States...." Usual folds, else fine condition. Interesting content. (Est. $150-250)


686. Confederate Civil War Letter. Fine content A.L.S. of a former Confederate soldier, 2p. 7 3/4 x 9 /3/4", Lumpkin, Ga., Jan. 30, 1865 written to his son describing conditions in Georgia and his progress with his new artificial leg. He writes, in part: "...I am sorry that the communication is so uncertain between this place and Charleston... I rec'd a letter from Arista dated 12th inst. at Tupelo, Miss. He was in good health, but had suffered so much during the Tenn. Campaign, having worn out his shoes. He had to march some distance through snow and frost, before he could get another pair.... I would, were [I] in your position, keep any clothing and other valuables in a condition to be ready at a moments-notice to march, in case the enemy compel[s] our army to evacuate the city.... Tis' reported... that Cheatam's corps of Gen'l Hood's army has passed through Columbus. The 45th Georgia belongs to that corps. I have got my artificial leg, but have not commenced using it, will commence to use it sometimes this week..." Usual folds, else very fine condition. (Est. $100-150)


687. Confederate Soldier's Letters. A set of three manuscript letters of Pvt. William A. Egger, a member of the 24th Mississippi Infantry, 7pp. total. The letters read in part: "...[Dalton, Ga., February 25, 1863]...could we once more enjoy good health and peace in our land... we would be the happy people... I fear there is no more peace and pleasure for us in this life...there is two or three things... we must see before we see peace. First there must be a change in the hearts of the people. We must humble ourselves... we must be drawn down from our wiked and sinful careers. We have become two [sic.] much of ourselves looking to our... power and strength for all we have and... must doubtless cease before there can be much change in the war. Meal is selling...for... three dollars and twenty five cts per bushel, pork at fifty cts per pound. Is there a people on earth that can hold up... doubtless there is not... [n.p., April 16, 1863]... the company is very good health... Windfield is complaining with the rheumatism... we have a great deal of rain... our house leaked so... we could not keep dry... we... have so much guard & picket duty to do... we have to go to the ditches every third night and lie on the ground... sometimes we have no fire... The wounded is all back... [Camp Cobb, Atlanta, August 14, 1863]... we was out on a scout yesterday... we was conscripting horses in this town... we had to place pickets all around the place to keep them from running them off. We are not done yet... we have got a great many fine horses... we will get to ride some of them before long..." Usual folds, light toning, else very good. (Est. $200-400)
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688. A great piece of hand-colored Civil War stationery featuring two blackface minstrels above six stanzas of "Dixie's Land". Bears an A.L.S. of soldier Bill C. Butterfield of the 1st. New Hampshire Cavalry, 3pp. 5 x 8", Camp Stoneman, Washington, September 30, 1864, to his brother mostly about family matters and offers advice on horse care: "...always coax them if they are in a bad place but if they have a good chance to draw and want them lick, them and do it so they will know what you man never switch them for that does more hurt than good but get a good stick or a broom stick and give it to them where it wont hurt them or leave bad marks that's the way to fix them..." Toning along folds, a few foxed spots, else very good. (Est. $150-200)
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689. Union Soldier's Letter. A.L.S. of Sgt. Thomas Herbert of the 1st New York Light artillery, 3pp., 5 1/2 x 8" on McClellan patriotic letterhead, Washington, Dec. 22, [n.y. 1861] to his mother and sisters. In part: "...it rain like hell and darn nation here and Hank has got the shits but to think he will git [sic] a long it is very warm here I set in the dore [sic] a writing this letter with out my coat or vest... as I sit here I can see Hank as he runs to and frow [sic] from the spring - he is very bussey [sic]... Hank has not tasted a drop of liqure [sic] since he inlisted [sic] he took the oath on the bible he swore that he would tutch [sic] not... a drop while he was in the army... " Signed with a rubber stamp on the last page over ten times. (Est. $100-150)
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690. Civil War poetry on slavery and Tennessee! An intersting Ms. in pencil, 2pp. 7 1/4 x 12 1/2", [n.p., nd., c. 1865?], a pair of poems including "Ella Ree", a song about a run away slave. "Sweet Ella Ree so dear to me / I's lost for ever more / her home was down in Tennisee / Before this cruel War. / Chorus / Then cary me back to Tennissee / There's where I long to be / Among the field of yellow corn / With my darling Ella Ree / Oh why did i from day to day / keep wishing to be free / And from old massa run away / And leave my Ella Ree... They say the war is over at last / The colored race is free / The good old time has come at last We've waited long to see..." The verso bears a similar piece of doggerel beginning: "Jeff Davis is the president / Of the Seceded States / And he made all his laws according / While himself is doing fine / and the north is left behind / And the niggers on the other side of Jordan..." Folds, a few foxed spots, else fine. With original transmittal envelope, an embossed patriotic, colored on verso. (Est. $100-150)
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691. Massachusetts Businessman Visits General Banks in the Field. Great content A.L.S. of businessman George Hood of Chelsea, Mass., 4p., Washington, September 15, 1861 to his wife concerning his visit to the front to visit General Nathaniel Banks. In part: "...I have just got in from the most tedious ride... you may think... I had got into the hands of the rebels... I started on Friday night... with my companions (Mr. Nothard) and Gen'l. [Frederick W.] Lander... and rode up the Potomac over the roughest rode [sic]... for some eight miles till you got outside the federal pickets. We did not know... but... we might meet the rebel pickets but pressed on in safety some ten miles... when a sentinel hailed us with `Who goes there' to which the Genl. replied friend with the countersign. The Genl. advanced and gave the countersign; then the sentinel exclaimed' countersign is wrong. I must conduct you to the Col.' Well, we did not know then... but [perhaps] we had fallen into the enemies [sic] hands... as we were conducted under a guard to the Col... it was the 19th Mass. Regt... it was ten 2 o'clock at night... after a little talk with the officers we... laid down to sleep... I spread a rubber blanket... I laid down... for the night... I woke up in the morning by the sound of the drum... we had breakfast... and... started from Genl. Banks... some 12 miles further. We met the Genl. who said he would be back if we would... wait, which we did. I did not get through my business with him last night. So staid [sic] with the 2nd Mass... and slept... on the ground again... so you... see. I can be a soldier if circumstances require... Genl. Lander... is one of the most illustrious of men... he married Miss Davenport the actress. Was the man under Genl. McClellan in Western Virginia who came down with 3000 rifles on the run yelling and took Phillipi with a whole rebel encampment prisoners... now Genl. McClellan has called him on here and given him a division in the Army of the Potomac. Genl. Banks treated me first rate, gave me the letter I wanted and introduced me to his wife... she is a fine interesting lady..." With original transmittal envelope. Most likely, Hood visited Banks, a former governor of Mass., to gain his influence in the former's business ventures. Worthy of further research, since we have located several other instances of Hood visiting the army in 1861. Usual folds, else fine condition. (Est. $150-250)


"...We lost 200 Men, but no Color, and our honor is untarnished..." One of the most significant letters we've encountered: an eyewitness report on events resulting in Medals of Honor awarded to Black Civil War soldiers - the most auspicious event in African American military history of the period.

692. (Battle of New Market Heights, Va., September 29, 1864.) A most impressive content war date letter of Major Augustus S. Boerstein, acting commander of the 4th United States Colored Infantry, describing the failed attempt to break the Confederate lines at New Market Heights, Virginia. The charge against the Confederate lines, performed primarily by black troops, resulted in very heavy losses on both sides and proved General Benjamin Butler's assertion that blacks could fight as well as whites. Fourteen black soldiers won the Medal of Honor for their actions that day -- a statistic made more impressive by the fact that only 24 black soldiers and sailors were granted that honor during the Civil War. In this letter, Major Boersetin relates the actions of Sergeant Christian A. Fleetwood (1840-1914) and Corporal Charles Veale (1838-72) who bravely secured the brigade's colors following the decimation of the twelve-member color guard during the advance on New Market Heights. For their actions Fleetwood and Veale became two of the fourteen black soldiers granted the Medal of Honor for actions on that day.
A.L.S., "Aug. L. Boerstein Major 4th US Col'd Inf. Comand[in]g Brigade", 4pp., 7 1/2" x 10", "Hd. Qrs. 3d Brig. 3d Div. 18th A[rmy]. C[orps]., In the field, near Chapin's Bluff, Va.", October 4, 1864 to Colonel Samuel Augustus Duncan (1836-95) at the hospital at Fortress Monroe. Duncan had been wounded on September 29 during the assault of Fort Harrison, leaving command to Boerstein who describes the balance of the day's events to his convalescing colonel. He begins with recent news: "Nothing new in the front. Col. Ames has been detached to command 2d Brig. 3d Div... and I as senior Officer present of our old Brigade have the honor to command it... There are but few of us, but they deserve the names of Veterans, and I will fight Hell and the Rebels with them.... I do not think there is any necessity of giving you a list of our casualties as very likely all of our wounded officers are down at the hospital with you... My poor little mare is killed, my Adjutant horse shot twice but may be saved... if it meets your approval, to request Capt. Hershell & Mendall to resign. They are in my eyes not worth their salt. They don't fight, in a battle and the don't work in a camp..."
Boerstein then recounts the events of September 29, in which the 4th U.S. Colored Infantry made the first charge against the heavily-fortified Confederate lines: "How I and Allen came out again unhurt, is a perfect wonder. We did not dismount during the whole fight until our horses were shot. If we had succeeded in taking the Rebel line we would have been captured, every one of us. By all I could see, and the reinforcements coming down to arrest us in our progress, I should conscientiously say that our little Brigade fought against 2 lines of Abatis, 1 line of Pallisades [sic], 1 line of good Breastworks and about 3000 Men. Are you astonished at our repulse, I am not! Three times did I push my line forward, and was repulsed. I would have tried a fourth time had not the Rebels in following up the repulse. 6th Miss.[?] completely out flanked me on my left, so that retreat became necessary to save what was left of my command. As soon as I can get at any certain results I will send you a list. Every man of my Color Guard is either killed or wounded. Fleetwood picked up the national colors and Corporal Veal of Co. D. the Standard. We lost 200 Men, but no Color, and our honor is untarnished..." Offered together with original transmittal envelope marked "if not there, please forward". Usual folds, else fine condition.
Christian A. Fleetwood was born in Baltimore to free parents of color. Well-educated, Fleetwood worked as a clerk at the Maryland Colonization Society spending a brief period in Liberia, and attended Ashmun Institute (later Lincoln University) in 1860. He briefly published the Lyceum Observer in Baltimore, the first black newspaper in the upper South. He enlisted in the Army in 1863 and was soon promoted to Sergeant Major participating in campaigns in Virginia and North Carolina. His acts of heroism occasioned every officer of his regiment to recommend an officer's commission for Fleetwood, yet Edwin Stanton never recommended his appointment. Discharged in 1866, he served in several minor government offices. Late in the century, he wrote a history of black soldiers, The Negro as a Soldier (1895). Much less is known about Corporal Charles Veal besides the circumstances of his Medal of Honor citation which, much like Fleetwood's citation noted that he "Seized the national colors after 2 color bearers had been shot down close to the enemy's works, and bore them through the remainder of the battle." Letters associated with black regiments in the Civil War are quite scarce and highly desirable. This is a particularly fine example detailing one of the important days in the history of black soldiers in the Civil War. His medal was donated by Fleetwood's daughter to the Smithsonian in 1948.
(Est. $2,000-2,500)
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693. Union Soldier's Fourth of July Letter. Fine content A.L.S. of Christian Walthurt of the 15th New York Engineers, 4p., 5 x 8", City Point, Va., July 4, 1864. In part: "...We were at Fortress Monroe very near 5 weeks... Our Headquarters and half of the Regiment having started for this place in time to lay the Bridge across the James River for Grants Army we had first relate times at the Fort, nothing much to do, and plenty of time to do it in, and here we are in pretty near the same situation... This is a hot and dusty place... We hear more or less firing in the direction of Peterburgh [sic] every day and night, but to day it has been remarkably quiet... the Men have confidence in General Grant, and they are pretty cheerful considering the excessive hot weather... you wished to know what the men in general thought of Gen'l McClellan... the men who first came about, and who served under him, are almost to a man in his favor, but of the rest, they are divided, it would be hard to say which was the favorite; McClellan has a great many friends in the Army; more than Lincoln by a great sight, as the policy of the Government, almost ignores the Soldier's manhood, and a saying which I saw in a letter concerning Secritary [sic] Stanton Viz. that he has little regard for this contract with Soldiers; is very true, if such were not the case, our government would not in my opinion, have had to draft, but men rather submit to the draft, than submit to the tender mercies of the Gov't. Our case is not decided yet, the Pres't refuses to decide it just now, but says if it only concerned 3 or 400 men, he would not hesitate to discharge us, but he is afraid it will form a precedent for 10 or 15 000, and he cannot spare that number at present, thus you will see, he is, or seems to be, waiting the result of this campaign; this is [a] dull 4th of July but I hope the next will not be so dull, but that I shall be where I can enjoy it..." Tape repairs to final page, light toning, else very good. (Est. $100-150)


"...we have been fighting one army of that despotic reaction toward heathenism which has set in so strongly since '48-9"

694. James Russell LOWELL (1819-91) Autograph Letter Signed, 3pp., 4 x 6", Cambridge, May 5, 1865. He writes in part: "Mr. George Walker of Massachusetts goes to Europe by the next steamer on business of the Treasury Department. Like the rest of us, he would be glad to see you. I am always glad to send to one friend in England a cultivated American from whom they can get information to be trusted... Now that we have won [the war] we may be allowed to say that we have been fighting England's battles no less than our own, for we have been fighting one army of that despotic reaction toward heathenism which has set in so strongly since '48-9. I liked Herbert particularly. He was all wrong about many things here, & was strong in the English presumption that an American knows nothing about America, but he has a truly noble nature & is such a youth as it does one good to see..." (Est. $200-300)
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The Bishop of Maryland calls on fellow Church leaders to return to offering prayers for the President...
even in the face of martial law being declared in Baltimore and the controversial suspension of the writ of Habeas Corpus.

695. WHITTINGHAM, William Robinson. Bishop of Maryland. A fine content printed circular L.S., 7 3/4 x 9 3/4, Baltimore, May 15, 1861 lamenting the anti-Lincoln sentiment prevailing in that city. He writes in part, "I have learned, with extreme regret, that in several instances, the 'Prayer for the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority' has been omitted, of late, in the performance of divine service in this diocese. Such omission... makes the clergyman liable to presentment for wilful [sic] violation of ordination vow, by mutilation of the worship of the Church... I beseech my brethren to remember that current events have settled any question that might have been started concerning citizenship and allegiance. Maryland is admitted and declared by the Legislature and Governor of the State, to be at this time one of the United States of America..." More fine content. With original transmittal letter and envelope addressed in his hand, bearing his bishop's seal in black wax on verso, addressed to Charles H. Hall of the Epiphany Church, Washington, D.C. He forwards the document to his fellow church leader with the hope that "the most sensitive perception of the line between private liberty and official duty will always be found governing your course of ministerial action." In other words, keep your private political animus away from the pulpit! Exceptional history... and certainly a facet of the battle on the home-front rarely told. Usual folds, light toning, else fine. (Est. $300-500)
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696. The Bishop of Maryland grouses that the President's declaration for a Thanksgiving celebration in 1864 interferes with Church services! ALS by William R. WHITTINGHAM, 4p., to fellow clergyman Charles H. Hall of the Epiphany Church, Washington, D.C. on numerous church matters and official actions by the Diocese. The Bishop discuss meetings with other Church leaders, various transfers and Missions, etc. On a second leaf, he writes a separate letter marked "Confidential" noting: "I learn by this morning's paper that the President has appointed another Public Thanksgiving, and find that by a singular coincidence it is fixed for the day on which the visitation to the Church of the Ascension had been previously scheduled..." We assume they went ahead and rescheduled... state holidays pre-empt church events during war! (Est. $200-400)


Civil War poetry...
by a self-proclaimed Confederate girl!

697. A fascinating book of original manuscript poetry kept by a Miss Mary C. Brightly of Mobile, Alabama, 6 1/2 x 8" with tooled leather boards and gilt lettering, titled on cover "Leaves of Affection" containing numerous blank pages interspersed with sentimental engravings. Most of the pages have been filled in with poetry and verse by several individuals, a couple of CDV's, together with the signatures of friends and family between 1859 and 1865. On the front flyleaf, Brightly has written in pencil "yes I am a Southern girl | And glory in the name | And boast it with far grater price, | than glittering wealth or fame." Other inscriptions with similar sentiments abound, some of them annotated in pencil as to the political allegiance of the author. A poem by one "R. M. R" is tagged in pencil "C. S. A." while a poem by "Cousin Aggie." has the notation "Yankee" beside her name. One poem, written February 2, 1864, the author has been identified as a member of "C.S.A. Lee's Army" Some pages decorated with songbirds and like vignettes. pages clean, spine broken with some loss, boards rubbed. An unusual relic worthy of further research. (Est. $500-750)
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An Ode to a Missing Foot!


698. Fascinating A.Ms.S. of Union veteran Velorus W. Bruce, 1p. 7 x 9", Big Rapids, Michigan, Dec. 19, 1897, contained in a late nineteenth century autograph book. A whimsical look at his wounds suffered at Campbell's Station, Tennessee on November 11, 1863 which, according to medical records, resulted in the amputation of his right leg. The poem is identified on the opposite page as "written by a man whom my Grandfather Smith carried from a Civil War battlefield. He had been thought to be dead. In later years he came here to visit..." Bruce, now in his mid-fifties, pens an ode to his missing foot which reads in full: "Oh where's my foot, my little foot? 'Tis gone, 'tis gone, oh dear, 'Tis buried where the Pigs will root And eat it up, I fear. That noble foot which proudly trod The soil of Tennessee, Did never think beneath the sod In that old State to be; but ah, alas, and yet how true, that pretty foot is dead, and it no more with leather shoe Will on the gravel tread. And when to Resurrection blast Our sleeping bones shall harke That foot again to Ankle fast Will once more tow the mark." Some rubbing and a few minor dampstains to titled boards, though pages very clean and in excellent condition. (Est. $100-150)
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699. Identified Civil War Musician's Book. Daniel J. Harrington's 9 x 12" manuscript music book for a number of instrumental compositions, notably reels and waltzes. This soft-covered book has stenciled lettering "Daniel Harrington Co. D 3d. Reg. Mass. V. M." at top, two rubber-stamps inscribed "D. J. Harrington" within a foliate design, as well as an inked ownership inscription. Other notations throughout, including "Com'd. by J. Shaughnessey of Fall River Mass." Covers soiled with wear to edges... condition typical of something of this nature and age. Harrington enlisted on 9/18/62 at the age of 19 as a private. He served with the MA 3rd Infantry; the MA 2nd Heavy Artillery; and mustered out on June 30, 1865 after six months with F Co., MA 17th Infantry. The music is entirely in manuscript with numerous corrections. A piece of history that really sings out! (Est. $300-500)
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