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    [Battle of Baton Rouge]. General Earl Van Dorn Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 8.75" x 4", Jackson [Mississippi], August 9, 1862. One day before the fall of New Orleans in April 1861, the Confederate government of the state of Louisiana made the decision to abandon the state capital of Baton Rouge. The occupation of the city by Federal troops began in earnest one month later, on May 29. The following year, General Earl Van Dorn, then in command of the Trans-Mississippi District, wanted Baton Rouge back. He ordered former U.S. vice president John C. Breckenridge, now a general in the Confederate Army, to retake the city. On August 5, 1862, Breckenridge made an unsuccessful assault on the city.

    Writing in haste four days later, Van Dorn discusses the possibility of sending more men, in part: "[Gen. John S.] Bowen twenty three Hundred bayonets. Bonares[?] one Hundred & twenty [Gen. John B.] Villepigue one thousand and your two Batteries, one rifled cannon Battery. I had hoped some of your sick would join and make your force Six thousand at least. Starkes Cavalry all up River out of reach. Can you free Baton Rouge of the Enemy with these? Let me know at once and if not I will try to scrape up some more somewhere. Tell you command to do this and we will then march into Tennessee and northward. . . . Enemy moving Eastward from Memphis." One week after Breckenridge's failed assault, the Federals abandoned Baton Rouge, only to return several months later.

    Slight waterstaining along the upper edge. Small tears are repaired on the verso with clear tape.


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    Auction Dates
    June, 2014
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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