Gettysburg Letter Lot Sells for $35,250 at NateDSanders.com Auctions
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The most expensive soldier letter in the Civil War letter market is the sale of a Gettysburg letter. A Gettysburg letter written from with a Confederate or Union Soldier is considered historic and possibly a lost piece of Gettysburg correspondence not recorded in the history books. We at NateDSanders.com Auctions have sold a few Gettysburg letter lots over the years, and they have sold for big bucks. Here are a few Gettysburg letter lots with descriptions, pictures and prices realized:
Gettysburg Letter Lot
Significant historical lot of 60 letters, some form a Gettysburg letter lot, written by William Glover Gage, 7th Michigan Cavalry, Company C. The 7th Michigan was part of the Michigan Cavalry Brigade led by General George Custer. Over 90% of the letters are written by William to his mother, father and brother. The remaining letters are written by officers of the 7th Michigan including his Captain and Lt. Colonel. With significant Gettysburg content from Gettysburg just after battle. Some of the Gettysburg letter s are written in pencil and some in ink. The majority of letters are legible with a few written in pencil showing some signs of fading. A few are written on Patriotic Union stationery. Many are written on Williams’ personal stationary. About twelve Civil War era envelopes are also included. The collection also has two CDV’s Of William in uniform taken at East Saginaw, Michigan (one of the photos has a slight tear near the bottom). The letters begin on 28 September 1862 from Camp Kellogg in Grand Rapids Michigan and continue through April of 1864. In this short period William goes from being a 18 year old boy to becoming a 20 year old man. We find his insights on the 3 July 1863 when he is captured at Gettysburg, as well as reports of his captivity in Libby Prison, his parole, exchange, and his problems with diseases. Not only is there talk of the camps but William also battles with his mother who wants him discharged after his imprisonment. His enlistment, training and drilling begin at Camp Kellogg, Grand Rapids, Michigan. To his father on 9/28/1862: “I have tried to what you advised me to do in regard to my food and avoiding bad company, the later it is a great deal harder to do than the first, there are so many mean men in the Co. there is hardly a decent private in it. I never would have enlisted had I known how few there were” Lee Barracks 1/18/1863: “Yesterday the horses were all drawn up in line and the different colors assigned to different companies, we got the brown ones they were the poorest lot of horses the non commissioned officers have there choice. I have got a pretty good one. A part of our company were in a skirmish down town the other day” Lee Barracks 1/29/1863: “We drew our horses yesterday and we shall draw our saddles today. I picked a good heavy horse, he’s a good trotter which is the main thing in Cavalry” Camp Kelly, Washington D.C. 3/18/1863: “We are drilling on horseback, we never shot a pistol off our horses yet. It will take at least two more weeks to learn our horses, we will drill at the same time with our sabers, but it will still take at least a month to make us good soldiers” Warrenton Junction, Virginia 5/14/1863: “There were three men wounded today, two of them were sent directly to Washington by the first train, the other is too badly hurt to be sent yet – they will get the very best of care. There was one horse killed and one wounded. Our men shot one of them right through the head above the nose. But after the rebs firing out of the house at five of our Co. the Col. would not let them burn it-but if the boys go there they will finish that place up without asking the officer What do you think of the great battle at Fredericksburg (Chancellorsville) I suppose although driven back we have six thousand prisoners. We met the other day with Stoneman’s cav. who just arrived from the fortifications and could have burned them if allowed to” South Mountain, Maryland 6/28/1862: “when we camped on this south mountain where the Antietam fight commenced. Here is said to be the place where the 17th MI Infantry charged. There are 58 dead rebels buried in a well across the road and they are buried all around” Near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, Monday 6 July 1863: Letter from Capt. Darling (Co. C) to Williams Father: “My Dear Sir: I take this opportunity to write you in reference to Glover. He rode in to the engagement with us on Friday and did not return. It was reported that he was killed and which report you will undoubtedly see in the papers before you see this. Our regt. was moved immediately after coming up but being slightly injured I was unable to move with them and remained near all night. The enemy held the field till morning when they fell back and left it to us. As soon as I could ride I went over the field but did not find him. The reg. in charge of the burial party had his name and told me where he was buried. I immediately made arrangements with him taken up and buried by himself in the churchyard but on uncovering the bodies his was not among them from which I infer that the Sgt. who did not know him personally was wrongly informed by someone who mistook some other body for his. He is still missing, but I can give you the hope that I myself had that he is not dead but a prisoner. We had a fierce engagement with many killed wounded and missing. Truly yours DH Darling”. Gettysburg, PA 7 July 1863: “Mr. Gage, I am happy to inform you that Lt. Birney who was a prisoner but escaped saw Glover a prisoner alive, well and in laughing humor. Hopeing he shall be fine and hear from him soon. I remain, respectfully yours D.H. Darling.” Annapolis, MD August 8, 1863: “I arrived here yesterday from rebeldom of course I have not the strength that I would have under different circumstances.” Annapolis, MD 8/24/1863: “besides I have no very pleasant recollections of my treatment while in the rebs hands” Annapolis, MD 8/28/1863: “I got to eat in Richmond about four slices of bakers bread would cover all the bread and I think a little piece of boiled salt pork about an inch thick and 2 1/2″ square. It was against my principles to be taken prisoner, at least without being hurt pretty badly, but when I saw a regiment that I thought would fight run all over like a flock of sheep, that is what they made me think of when they were crowding to get back through the fence. I thought I would not shoot on their account and so surrendered” Annapolis, MD 9/4/1863, speaking of the 7th Michigan: “they did not hold the field until the First came to their support as reported I saw about one half of them rally once but they ran again almost before the rebel Cavalry got to them” Annapolis, MD 9/10/1863, Speaking of Lt. Thompson “he behaved the bravest of any officer in our reg. that 3rd of July. After the regiment broke he rallied about twenty men and charged the whole column of reb cavalry as the other offices were running helter skelter and did not know what to do” Speaking of Custer: “the General sat on his horse as cool as could be in front of the men, calling on them to rally. I would ask no braver General than Custer” William has many letters between himself and his mother regarding his enlistment and her trying to get him out of the army. William responds: “I wish you would quit this kind of talk. I am sick and tired of talking about his question” Camp near Gainesville, VA 10/21/1863: “My horse although green to the service is broken to firing already. We were skirmishing all day today. There was one corporal of our company wounded” near Gainesville, VA 10/27/1863: “I am afraid we shall not stay here long for I hear the dogs of war growling and Kilpatrick is not liable to lag still when they growl” Two miles south of Bristoe, VA, “We heard a cannon booming down the railroad after marching 3 miles we found a train on fire, but the rebels had left. After a chase of 4 miles our men were fired on with grape and the Lt. and six men in front were either killed or wounded. They were fired on twice more by the piece but they took it before the rebels could start it again” Summerville Ford, VA. 12/9/1863: “Our Army in the west has done a big thing, but I think our movement prevented Lee from reinforcing Longstreet so that we helped some” Camp near Stephensburgh , VA. 1/4/1864: “There are a few deserters coming in now two came in while on picket duty last night, they said there were plenty more that would do the same if they got a chance” Camp near Stephensburgh, VA 1/26/1864 talking of deserters: “as the deserters got across the river their cavalry came rushing down on a charge but when they got into the river the deserters sent a volley into them which changed their tune” April 20, 1864: “our boys went out this morning it was said to rout eighty bush whackers who were said to be in a swamp some where around here” Spectacular Gettysburg letter collection. Sold for $35,250.
Robert E. Lee Gettysburg Letter Signed
Robert E. Lee Gettysburg letter signed to B.H. Wright on 18 January 1869. Lee responds to a letter from Wright who, in hindsight, criticizes the Confederate Civil War strategy for the most famous battles including Gettysburg and Fredericksburg; letter from Wright included. Excerpt from Lee: “this failure of the Confederate army at Gettysburg was owing to a combination of circumstances but for which success might have been reasonably expected. It…seemed that Genl Burnside had good reasons for his move…to Fredericksburg & as far as I was able to judge the earlier arrival of his troops…would not have materially changed the result…all would only have produced an earlier concentration of the Confederate army at Fredericksburg. As regards Gen McClellan I have always entertained a high opinion of his capacity & have no reason to think that he omitted to do anything that was in his power. It is difficult for me to say what success would have attended the execution of your plan of moving the Federal army to Aquia Creek after its attack of Fredericksburg, & of threatening Richmond…& then entering the Rapahannock with the Main army. I do not think that the Confederate army would have retired to Richmond until the movement developed the necesity. After the accomplishment of an event, it is so easy with the aid of our after knowledge to correct moves that are from previous events…” Runs 2pp., 7″x 9″. The historic marvel is accompanied by Wright’s previous letter to Lee. In good condition. A true gem. Historic Gettysburg letter. Sold for $32,500.
Gettysburg 1863 Civil War Document From 15th Massachusetts Reporting Its Losses — ”…on the 2nd & 3rd days of July 1863 at Gettysburg Pa…enumerated below were lost in action…”
1863 Civil War document reporting the losses incurred during the Battle of Gettysburg. Document is handwritten by Captain Walter Gale of the 15th Massachusetts Infantry, Co. C, which fought on the Union’s left centre and suffered heavily during the battle. Document is datelined ”camp near Culpepper, Va, Sept 30, ’63” and reads in part: ”I certify on honor, that on the 2nd & 3rd days of July 1863 at Gettysburg Pa, the Stores enumerated below were lost in action at that place – one non commissioned officer and two privates were killed and one officer and eleven privates were severely wounded. The arms carried by these men were left on the field and could not be recovered. The following is the list of stores so abandoned…” He compiles an itemized list of the lost provisions, including cartridge boxes, Springfield Rifled Muskets, and bayonets. The 15th Massachusetts as a whole lost 26 men in killed or wounded. Single-page document is matted and framed with a print titled ”The Battle of Gettysburg” by Kurz & Allison, 1884, to an overall size of 28” x 15.75”. Toning and creasing, else near fine. Frame is in good to very good condition, with a chip to the left edge and some cracking to finish. Sold for $2,384.
Incredible Gettysburg Letter re Battle — “John was brought from the field without his face or legs having felt the wrath of a Yankee shell.Blood coats the fields and flies are all over us like the demons of Hell.”
Gettysburg letter by a Confederate soldier, Tilman Jenkins of the 1st North Carolina Light Artillery, who experienced the ravages of war first-hand at the Battle of Gettysburg and would later die at Spotsylvania Court House. Letter to his parents datelined “July 3, 1863 / Gettisburg, Penna. / Grahams Battery” reads in part, “…I have yet survived this horrible place. We arrived July first about two miles from this place and engaged the enemy who seemed to be everywhere. Gen. Longstreet arrived near two and a half in the afternoon and engaged the enemy upon a hill along our right flank on the second day. Many good men left their lives on the bloody ground including young Jacob. The sight was as terrible as could be imagined and the anguish of both men and horses was liken to drive a sane man mad. John was brought from the field without his face or legs having felt the wrath of a Yankee shell that burst next to him. Oh the horror! Blood coats the fields and flies are all over us like the demons of Hell. I do not know how men can do to one another what they did today and ever sleep again. Last night we slept upon the rocky ground, and got no rest from the moans of those who lay dying still yet on the fields. I am detailed to bring up ammunitions for our rifle cannon as the bronze guns have no effect on the yankee bastards. I wish them all to die in hell for what they do and to suffer forever. Their unjust and unholy cause. If I live through this day I will find a way to tell you I am still alive. Pray for me, Mother, and never give up our holy cause we are dying for. Your affectionate son, Tilman Jenkins.” 2pp. measure 5.75″ x 7.75″. Pencil rubbed in some places, else very good. Nice Gettysburg letter. Sold for $1,456.
FREE APPRAISAL. To auction, buy, consign or sell a Gettysburg letter or to consign to our next Gettysburg letter auction, please contact Nate@NateDSanders.com or call the Nate D. Sanders Auction House (http://www.NateDSanders.com) at (310) 440-2982.
To auction or sell your Gettysburg letter that is for sale, please contact Nate D. Sanders Auctions and email a scan of your Gettysburg letter.
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