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Civil War and Reconstruction

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Sherman Endorses the Publication of Butterfield’s Manual

WILLIAM T. SHERMAN, Autograph Letter Signed, to “Messrs Harper Brothers.” “Camp before Vicksburg,” Mississippi, March 29, 1863. 2 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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In the midst of preparations for the final campaign against Vicksburg, Sherman writes to Harper Brothers concerning the publication of Daniel Butterfield’s Camp and Outpost Duty for Infantry. In a war in which the bulk of combatants were new recruits, the art of training and disciplining men was crucial to battlefield success, making Butterfield’s manual, Hardee’s Tactics, and other books essential instructional material. “Should you succeed in this I would advise its publication in … on linen paper, as to be carried in the pockets of officers on outpost duty and such as are published on paper should have a pliable leather, waterproof cover for similar reasons. This to be sure would increase its cost, but … increase its real value fourfold…

Item #21785, $3,600

Evacuating Elizabeth City and Leaving Nothing for the Rebels, to the Dismay of Freedpeople and Unionists

THOMAS BOURNE, Autograph Letter Signed, April 18, 1863, Elizabeth City, [North Carolina]. 2 pp., 8vo.

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this place is to be evacuated all the troops and the gunboats leave with us there is a general move of the darkeys they all want to go with us they do not dare to stay here after we leave for fear of the guerrillas I believe we are to take every thing with us that can be of use to the rebs

Item #21265.25, $300

Lincoln Reviews the Army of the Potomac

[ABRAHAM LINCOLN], Newspaper. Harper’s Weekly, May 2, 1863. 16 pp., complete, disbound.

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Collecting confiscated rebel cotton. Ironclad Keokuk sinking after the battle at Charleston. Pres. Lincoln, General Hooker, and their staff at a review of the Army of the Potomac. Bombardment of Fort Sumter.

Item #H-5-2-1863, $100

Col. Isaac Shepard Authorizes Recruitment
of 1st Mississippi Regt. African Descent (Former Slaves)

ISAAC SHEPHARD, Autograph Manuscript Signed. Milliken’s Bend, Louisiana, May 25, 1863. 1 p.

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Special order of the colonel commanding the African Brigade authorizing new recruiting efforts in Louisiana for Bryant’s 1st Mississippi Regt. of African Descent. “Major J. E. Bryant of the 1st Reg Miss. Infantry of African descent, is hereby ordered to proceed to Grand Gulf, Haines’ Bluff, or any other locality in front where he may deem it prudent, to recruit for his Regiment…”. Shepard allows eight (white) soldiers from Sherman’s Corps to be enlisted as Lieutenants.

Item #21810, $1,750

President Lincoln Vouches for a Maryland Unionist Congressman

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Robert C. Schenck, May 31, 1863, Washington, D.C. 1 p.

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I esteem Gov. Francis Thomas, as an able, and very true man. I do not know that he agrees with me in everything—perhaps he does not; but he has given me evidence of sincere friendship, & as I think, of patriotism.

Item #25464, $45,000

A Middle-Aged Private in the 140th New York ‘Rochester Race Horses’ Writes His Wife

ERASTUS U. POLLAY, Autograph Letter Signed, to Julia A. Pollay, May 31, 1863, Falmouth, VA, 2 pp, 8vo., one slight fold cut (text not affected), otherwise fine condition.

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I have bin Down to the River this Morning and had A good wash and my Body is Clan Enough to sleep with a Woman but that Cant be So I must be Content untill I get out of this War and then I will see you About that

Item #21265.12, $250

Under Pressure, President Lincoln Pardons a Partisan Ranger

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Manuscript Document Signed as President. Co-Signed by Assistant Secretary of State F.W. Seward (son of Secretary of State William H. Seward). June 1, 1863, Washington, D.C. 2 pp., 10½ x 16¾ in.

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An official wartime pardon of Jacob Varner a month before Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg. Lincoln backs down in the face of Virginia Governor John Letcher’s demands that he set free two partisan rangers “convicted of mail robbery” behind Union lines. Yet he is able to save face by claiming, with truth, that “the Judge, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshal for the said District, the jurors before whom the said Jacob Varner was tried, and the Postmaster General of the U. States. have all petitioned that he be released from further duress…”

Item #21227.99, $15,000

Accounting for “Contraband” Sailors in the Civil War Navy Bureaucracy

SAMUEL P. LEE, Letter Signed, to Samuel B. Gregory, June 4, 1863. 1 p.

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When enslaved African Americans fled to the ships of the Union blockading fleet, officers often sent them to “contraband” camps such as those at Port Royal, South Carolina, or Fortress Monroe, Virginia, or shipped them north. However, the Union Navy, short on manpower, also encouraged able-bodied male contrabands to enlist. In September 1861, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles authorized the enlistment of contrabands “under the same forms and regulations as apply to other enlistments.” As crew members of navy ships and gunboats, these black sailors served on blockade duty and even on expeditions up southern rivers and creeks.

On January 5, 1863, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles ordered commanders of squadrons to forward monthly returns of “contrabands” employed on board the respective vessels under their command. The USS Western World had been part of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron in 1861 and 1862. After extensive overhaul, the Western World was reassigned in March 1863 to the North Atlantic Blockading Squadron for service in the Chesapeake Bay.

In this letter, Acting Rear Admiral Samuel P. Lee chastises the Western World’s commander for the lack of details in his May 1863 “Contraband” report.

Item #22845, $1,000

A Union Officer’s Commission, and Field Report from
the 17th Connecticut Regiment at the Battle of Gettysburg

[CIVIL WAR – GETTYSBURG], Allen G. Brady, Autograph Manuscript, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, July 4, 1863. 6 pp., in pencil, an unsigned draft or retained copy.

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A field report from the Battle of Gettysburg by Major Allen G. Brady, commander of the 17th Connecticut Regiment, written on the 4th of July, 1863, the day after the battle ended in a great victory for the Union.

“We had not more than time to form before the enemy were discovered advancing rapidly upon us on our right & a full Brigade obliquely towards our left….our fire was so destructive it checked their advance the troops on our left giving way the enemy came in behind us but we still remained firmly at the stone wall until the rebels were driven back.”

Item #21808, $7,500

A Fighting Vermont Regiment Summary of Actions after Gettysburg, July 5-13, 1863

ADDISON W. PRESTON, Autograph Document, c. July to October 1863, 2 pp., 8 x 12¼ in.

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Item #23879.01, $1,250

Quartermaster of New York Regiment Anticipates the Assault on Fort Wagner; Mentions the 54th Massachusetts

[CIVIL WAR]. CHARLES E. WALBRIDGE, Autograph Letter Signed, to “George,” July 17, 1863, Folly Island, South Carolina. 5 pp., 7¾ x 9¾ in.

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I cannot but think constantly of the approaching battle tomorrow; just think if we get Charleston! Vicksburg is fallen, Richmond at our last accounts was seriously threatened, Lee was in chancery up in Maryland, and now if we can only take this accursed city.

Item #24474, $2,250

Planning Civil War Slave Patrols

MILLEDGE L. BONHAM, Autograph Endorsement Signed twice as Governor of South Carolina, to G.T. Beauregard. August 12, 1863. 2 pp. On verso of J.C. McKewn. Autograph Document Signed. [likely Charleston, S.C.], [ca. August 1, 1863]. 1 p.

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McKewn tabulates a list of 15 men headed “Patrol,” men previously tabbed to participate in the “slave patrols” used to round-up runaway slaves. Only four men appear to be qualified and prepared for duty. At bottom McKewn inquires of the Governor if some others can be required to do duty. Bonham forwards the letter to General Beauregard.

Item #21840, $1,900

South Carolina Governor’s Draft Proclamation Urging Civilians to Evacuate Charleston

MILLEDGE L. BONHAM, Manuscript Document Signed, Charleston, South Carolina, August 17, 1863. 4 pp. on lined blue paper, watermarked F A Gordon 1862, 8 x 12½ in.

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Whereas the convention on the 8th Jany 1862 expressed “as the sense of the people of South Carolina … that Charleston should be defended at any cost of life or property … I, Milledge L. Bonham Commander-in-chief in & over the State of South Carolina do recommend to, and enjoin upon, all good citizens the removal from Charleston, as early as practicable, of all non-combatants....

Item #24671.05, $4,500

South Carolina Impressment Agent Negotiates With General Beauregard for the Release of Slaves to their Masters

WILLIAM SHANNON, Autograph Letter Signed, to General Thomas Jordan. Charleston, August 17, 1863, 2 pp. With: newspaper advertisement, entitled: “Labor For Coast Defences,” a public letter from Governor M.L. Bonham, August 19, 1863, 1 p.

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Shannon, a militia colonel and state agent for the impressment of slave labor, requests the discharge of a number of slaves impressed for labor on military fortifications in Charleston, from the chief of staff of General Beauregard. Local planters depended on Shannon to force the state governor and the Confederate army to abide by the terms of the legislation granting the power to impress slave labor, in this case for a month’s time. A rare document concerning the joint effort between the Confederate government and the local planters to use slave labor for military fortifications. I am officially identified with the success of a scheme which I have labored earnestly to make efficient, outside of that motive no man can be more deeply interested than I am in the success of the defence of Charleston, but I feel constrained from a sense of duty to ask the discharge of those Negroes furnished under the call for the 15th July, who have worked over thirty days and which are relieved by the supply rendered in the past few days. The motive prompting this direct application is that I am informed by the Engineer Department that the Negroes could not be discharged…

Item #21799, $2,000

President Lincoln Seeks Appointment to Naval Academy for His Wife’s Young Cousin

ABRAHAM LINCOLN, Autograph Letter Signed, to Gideon Welles, August 21, 1863, Washington, D.C. 1 p., 4⅞ x 8 in.

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Item #25970, $17,500

New York Soldier Reports on Fort Sumter before It Was Taken

ABRAM BOGART, Autograph Letter Signed, to a “friend,” South Carolina, October 10, 1863, 4 pp. 8vo.

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I am quite lame with the kidney complaint but not bad enough to fetch me home yet for they wont let a man go home as long as he can go and then they had rather he would die here for they die here every day....if you have got any friends that talk of coming tell him to join the masons or odfellows or some other d n d disorder and stay at home

Item #21265.06, $375

21st Georgia Cavalry Soldier Orders his Slave Whipped

HENRY T. HARDEE, Autograph Letter Signed, Camp Jackson October 18, 1863, pertaining to a negligent or mischievous slave who Hardee believes should be punished.

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Item #12513, ON HOLD

Gettysburg Doctor Returns to Civilian Practice after Helping in Army Hospitals

[BATTLE OF GETTYSBURG]. HENRY JANES, Medical Director. Autograph Document Signed, releasing Dr. Robert Horner from further service at the expiration of his contract. Camp Letterman, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, October 24, 1863, 1 p. 8 x 10 in.

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“A. Asst Surg. Robt Horner is hereby relieved from duty at this place on account of the expiration of his contract…”

During the course of the Civil War, 5,532 doctors served for short terms in military hospitals after battles, typically at the rate of $100 per month for at least three months. Following the Battle of Gettysburg, Camp Letterman became the largest field hospital ever built in North America. By August 1863, all temporary field hospitals were closed, but Camp Letterman remained, with over 3,000 patients. Approximately 1,200 men were initially buried on site at Camp Letterman. It closed in November 1863, when the last remaining patients left.

Item #23817, $850

New Jersey Soldier Expects Battle Soon

ALBERT [M. RUNYON*], Autograph Letter Signed, to his parents [George and Mary Runyon*], October 31, 1863, 4 pp.

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I hardly think old Lee will show fight. During this Campain without he is forced, we may have a brush with him when we get down the Rappahanock.

Item #21265.08, $200

Patriotic Poem by Gov. John A. Andrew

JOHN A. ANDREW, GOVERNOR, Autograph Manuscript Signed. Boston, Massachusetts, November, 1863. 1p., 7¾ x 9⅞ in.

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Item #20068, $380
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