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    [John S. Mosby]. Two Letters by Union Lt. John H. Black. John Singleton Mosby, the famed "Gray Ghost," had been a thorn in the Union Army's side for several years. Mosby and his men were proficient in hit-and-run tactics. In the earlier of two letters, three pages of a bifolium measuring 7.5" x 12",Lt. John Black of Co. "G," 12th Pennsylvania Cavalry, writes home to his wife from Bolivar Heights [Harpers Ferry], Virginia, on October 16, 1864, providing a detailed description of a train robbery by Mosby's men, in part: "A squad of Mosby's Guerillas made their appearance on the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad about 7 miles from here . . . Ran the Express train off the tracks, captured all the passengers aboard making prisoners of all the soldiers whom they robbed of all their money, jewelry and in fact everything that was of any value. Among them was a Paymaster from whom they took seventy dollars. . . . They then set fire to the train . . . leaving therein a corpse of a poor soldier that was being sent home to his friends, inhuman retches. When this was completed they mounted speedily, released the citizens & ladies, and made their way to Snickers Ferry with all possible speed & were soon safe in the mountains."

    Black himself was wounded and robbed several months later and wrote a second letter to his wife, four pages of a bifolium, 5" x 8", from Harpers Ferry, dated May 9, 1865, in part: "I am as yet unable to walk, my feet are helpless and are swollen nearly all the time. I rest very easily, have not much pain. . . . Colonel James P. Stewart sent all my letters that were on hand & other papers. And also, the receipt for the $270 that he sent you. I had thought that he had sent you $320 . . . but he said after hearing that I was wounded & fallen in the hands of the enemy that I would be robbed of every cent of money I had & so he retained $50 for me . . . True enough they did rob me to perfection, I had but $20 in money with me. They got that, took my boots, jacket, vest, shirt collar, letters, knife, comb, gold pen, in fact everything but pantaloons, shirt & drawers."

    Both letters show some separation at the folds with small spots of staining. The text is very clean and bright.

    Estimate: $1,600 - up.

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    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2015
    12th-13th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 245

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