Gettysburg, Veterans Day Saluted with Rare Historical Manuscripts in Cohasco Auction A pair of handwritten letters of Gettysburg hero and martyr General Jeb Stuart, are among 400-plus lots of rare documents and collectibles to be sold in Cohasco’s November 12th auction in Yonkers, N.Y
News-Antique.com - Nov 08,2013 - Penned from Fort Leavenworth on two consecutive days in 1857, the young Virginian officer Stuart seeks a promotion. The future Confederate calls himself “a gentleman of the finest moral deportment.” His death on the battlefield at age 31 contributes to their high estimated value: $38,000 to $48,000.
His counterpart Union hero of the Battle of Gettysburg, Medal of Honor winner Gen. Joshua Chamberlain of Maine, appears in the auction as well. His handwritten letter supports a dishonored officer, still fighting for vindication 17 years after the Second Battle of Bull Run. Chamberlain initiated one of the most dramatic scenes in the Civil War, ordering his men to come to attention out of respect for the Confederates surrendering before them (pre-sale estimate $3000-5000).
A Union order printed during the height of the Battle of Gettysburg, on July 3, 1863, states that “it is the duty of a prisoner to escape...” ($120-160).
But not many escaped: Wounded and captured on that very day at Gettysburg, the auction lists a letter of Confederate prisoner-of-war Cicero Verser of Virginia. He thanks a kind Northern woman in Philadelphia for sending a hat, pants and shoes, but Verser died soon after in a Union camp, interred in a mass grave somewhere in what is today Point Lookout State Park in Maryland.
Cohasco V.P. Bob Snyder remarked, “These original primary source materials show the human side of our fighting men, their courage - and their anguish. And many didn’t survive: A Confederate soldier’s letter offers a doubly-tragic message for Veteran’s Day: Grieving for his brother, the Alabama soldier writes, ‘we are fighting for freedom...’ - but he too would soon die in the war.”
Paradoxes in the auction’s artifacts abound: An original carte-de-visite photograph of Winfield Scott Hancock, who may have dodged death by losing the 1880 Presidential election to fellow Civil War General James Garfield - and a postal cover in the hand of the man who hung Garfield’s assassin, Gettysburg veteran John S. Crocker.
Serving in the Washington Territorial Infantry - probably the most distant participant in the Civil War - soldier Mark White writes a letter as a member of the Gettysburg Post of the leading veteran’s group of its century, the Grand Army of the Republic.
American veterans of other wars are featured in the auction: Research revealed a common link in a group of 11 soldiers’ pay documents: they all served with George Washington at Valley Forge in the brutal winter of 1777-78. The men included a physician, minister, sea captain, armorer, and Minute Man ($1150-1450).
Day One of America’s military is captured in a famous - and rare - 1775 Philadelphia newspaper reporting George Washington’s unanimous election as commander of “all the Continental Forces...for the defence of American liberty.” The delegates pledge “...their lives and fortunes” ($3500-4500).
Other Americana and documents offered include: an original July 4th, 1776 receipt for a gun ... a 1547 royal scribe’s letter-copy in which the first King of Spain finances war against Moors [Muslims] -