16. [Civil War – Opening Days] A fine collection of eight letters documenting early actions taken during the early months of the war in both the North and the South. Highlights include:
1-Cooper, Samuel. Letter signed (“S. Cooper”) as Adjutant and Inspector General, 1 page quarto, War Department, Montgomery, 15 April 1861. Headed General Order No 43; with integral docketed leaf attached. He writes in full: Lieutenant Worden of the U.S. Navy, having been detected in conveying secret communications, of a hostile character against the Confederate States, to the fleet of War vessels of the U.S. off the Harbor of Pensacola, he will be imprisoned and held as a prisoner of War, until further orders, By order of the Secretary of War. Cooper was one of the few West Pointers of Northern origins who sided with the Confederacy. John Lorimer Worden, who a year later was appointed to command John Ericsson’s Monitor, was at the time of this document, captured after he had delivered special orders to Fort Pickens and attempted to return North by train. He was held for seven months and released in October 1861. 2-Cameron, Simon. Autograph letter signed as Secretary of War, 1 page small quarto, War Department, [Washington, D.C.], 18 April 1861, to an army officer. He writes in part:Will meet Major Pater of the U.S. Army at Baltimore or extend to him all the information in his power regarding the N. Central R. Roads in its capacity to bring forward the troops coming to Washington. He will...aid...all means in his possession to [assure] the speedy arrival of the troops. Cameron’s instructions were issued in response President Lincoln’s call for the raising of 75,000 militia and volunteers in Northern states after the Confederate attack on Fort Sumter. 3-Pillow, Gideon J. Autograph letter signed (“Gid J Pillow”), 3 pages quarto, Memphis, [Tennessee], 15 May 1861, to the Committee of Public Safety and Military Board. The Confederate Commander of the Provisional Army of Tennessee makes an impassioned plea for arms for the regular troops and underscores the difficulty of coordinating the actions of the many independent groups in the south. He writes in part: I need the public arms that were issued to Col Pickets Regiment to arm Troops that are ready to take the Field, for the defence of the country…So numerous are the Patriotic Volunteers for Home Service that out of 2000 stand of arms issued to Walkers & Pickets Regiments. I have only 380 men Rank & File who could be found ready for the Field, to be mustred into the Service. There Belong to a new Regiment organized by Col I.K. Walker and are now in the Randolph Works.-- Here are about 1600 stand of Arms sent here by the authorities of the Confederate States & the Gov of Louisiana which are not under my controul - but in possession of Citizens of the City of Memphis, the individuals not known to me. Neither the officers nor men are under the power of the military arm of the State. I have had many interviews with officers of those companies & with prominent citizens seeking to be placed in possession of the arms, but to no purpose. There are many Brave men scattered all over the interior of the state ready to be mustered in, and actually mustered into the service of the state ready to fight any where in defence of the right & honour of the country, whom I cannot supply with arms...If you would save the country from Devastation & ruin & your city from ashes these arms must be turned over to me & promptly… 4-Legare, Joseph J. Autograph letter signed (“J.J. Legare”), 2 pages octavo, Charleston, South Carolina, 8 June 1861, to Brigadier General [P.] G.T. Beauregard, a few weeks after the firing on Fort Sumter. He writes in part: Since your departure from this place we have heard but little definite of your movements, except through the newspapers. I have heard nothing of my application for the Army except that Major Gorgas incidentally informed Capt Lee that I had been appointed, but as I was sick when the Major was here and did not see him, I do not know that be was positive in his statement. There is nothing at all occurring here, yesterday 3 more steamers joined the Minnesota off the bar but one, or two of them, (about 600 or 700 tons) left later in the day. The other steamer seems to be larger than the Minnesota. A privateer (a pilot boat fitted up) from this port left a few days ago & very soon captured a brig with sugar &c, & took her into Georgetown! You know that Major Trapier has been tendered a commission in the Confederate Engineer Service but will only accept it on condition that he is not removed from the State? I send you enclosed two bills for the Photographic views of Fort Sumter & Moultrie after the Surrender of the former, which please approve & return for Capt Lee to pay. They (the views) were sent to Montgomery you will recollect.... 5-Letcher, John. Confederate Governor of Virginia. Autograph note signed, 1 page octavo, Va. Department, 27 June 1861. The Governor of Virginia organizes forces during the early months of the war. He writes in full: If I am compelled to order out the militia as a whole, or to draft a portion of them for service, they will not have the privileges then, of enrolling themselves in volunteer companies. They will then be required to serve with the militia. 6-Wool, John E. Autograph letter signed, 1 page octavo, 24 July 24 1861, to J. Sherman, Washington, D.C. A Union General comments on the First Bull Run. He writes in full: I give you many thanks for your letter of the 18 instant received yesterday. I regret, greatly regret of the loss of the battle of Bulls Run. It was a battle of blunders. Why should 15,000 men be allowed to contend with a superior force for 7 hours without being relieved, with 30 or thirty five thousand men near by doing nothing. Ten or 15,000 men in addition would have been sufficient to have overwhelmed the rebels before Johnson with his forces of 20,000 arrived.
7-Hardee, William J. Autograph letter signed, 4 pages octavo, Greenville, Missouri, 4 August 1861, to Dr. Nagle, Pocahontas, Arkansas. He writes in part: I am pleased that you are exerting yourself to make the sick comfortable. I approve all you have done. If help were necessary I suppose from what you say that Dr Orme [is] as good a person as you could get Make every effort to put the sick on their feet, we shall want them all. The troops have travelled slowly in consequence of the extreme heat of the weather. The enemy heading afore advance backed up in haste and retreated back to Ironton. It is doubtful whether I shall proceed any further at present, much will depend on the prompt execution of an order I gave to a party of Missourians to burn the bridge and tear up the rail road between Ironton & St Lows. If I can cut them off from reinforcements I shall advance on Ironton. I hope to get the active cooperation of a body of Missourians, better than those I trust who fought under Jackson...Ironton. I hope to get the active cooperation of a body of Missourians, better than those I trust who fought under Jackson... 8-Wright, Horatio G. Autograph letter signed (“Wright”), in pencil, 1 page small octavo, [Port Royal], 27 November . A Union General (acting as Chief Engineer here), while making some preparations for an inspection, shows that the Army has yet to comprehend the long, bitter struggle that has begun. He writes in full: This is such a beautiful morning that I have sent to Saxton for the boat, knowing that you could not fail to be ready to pay the visits about the harbor. Shall I expect you at 10 1/2 A.M.? And do you propose going in simple undress or en grande tenue? [full dress uniform]
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