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    [Civil War]. Special Orders to Lieutenant Colonel George Duncan Wells from Assistant Adjutant General E.D. Townsend. One page of a bifolium, 7.75" x 9.75", War Department, Washington, D.C.; July 11, 1862. A letter signed by Townsend to Wells concerning the latter's commission as colonel of a new regiment. Written in ink over the order is a note, dated July 19, 1862, and signed by the paymaster, William B. Rochester, that indicates Wells was paid for May and June. Accompanied by biographical material on Wells.
    Condition: Flattened folds, with light soiling throughout. Wear to exterior integral page. A few stray pencil marks, and docket on verso.

    More Information:

    "Special Orders.

    No. 159

    3. Lieutenant Colonel G. D. Wells, 1st Massachusetts Volunteers, Hooker's Division, Army of the Potomac, will be ordered to report to the Governor of Massachusetts, with a view to his being commissioned as Colonel of a new regiment about to be raised.

    By order of the Secretary of War

    E D Townsend

    Asst Adj Genl"

    George Duncan Wells (1826-1864) was born in Greenfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts was a lawyer and a judge before the Civil War. In April 1861, soon after the war broke out, Wells enlisted in the 1st Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. A month later he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the 1st regiment. During this time he participated in the Battle of First Bull Run and Peninsula Campaign during the spring of 1862. In July 1862, as this order indicates, Wells was promoted to the rank of Colonel and commander of a new regiment, the 34th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry. He and the 34th Massachusetts defended Washington, D.C. from August 1862 to July 1863. From July 1863 to May 1864, Wells and his regiment were stationed in Harpers Ferry. Promoted to command the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, of the VIII Army Corps, Wells participated in the battles of Piedmont, Winchester, Fishers Hill, and Cedar Creek. Wells was wounded at Cedar Creek and captured by Confederate soldiers. He died of his wounds in captivity.

    Edward D. Townsend (1817-1893), the grandson of Vice President Elbridge Gerry (1744-1814), was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and graduated from West Point in 1837. He served as Assistant Adjutant General and Adjutant General (1869-1880) in the U.S. Army.

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    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    11th Thursday
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