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    [Maryland Secessionist John Hanson Thomas]. Edwin M. Stanton Letter Signed with a Secondary Letter from Mary Morris. This one page letter, on War Department letterhead, 7.75" x 9.75", Washington, August 20, 1863, is addressed to Annie Thomas, wife of Dr. John H. Tomas, a Maryland secessionist and member of the state legislature. Secretary of War Stanton here gives Mrs. Thomas authority "to send to your son a reasonable supply of his ordinary clothing and necessaries, to be inspected and approved by General [William W.] Morris, and forwarded by him, by way of Fortress Monroe, to the care of Brigadier General [Sullivan A.] Meredith, and delivered at City Point for your son." All mail traveling from the USA to the CSA would first go through Fortress Monroe, the exchange point for such items, where it would be inspected by government officials. With the original transmittal envelope bearing a second free frank Stanton signature and a pencil inscription regarding the contents: "Permit to send clothing to Raleigh C. Thomas, to replace that which was stolen from him at Fort Monroe." Lt. Raleigh C. Thomas (1844-1886), who shared his father's sympathies with the Southern cause, enlisted in Co. "C," 1st Maryland Cavalry, Confederate Army, and later served as aide-de-camp to Gen. Lunsford Lomax.

    With a second, two page autograph letter, 5.25" x 8.25", from Gen. William W. Morris' wife, Mary A. Morris, to Annie Thomas. Gen. Morris was commander of Fort McHenry, operating as a prison for Confederate soldiers and Maryland politicians who may have pro-Confederate leanings. Written from the fort six days after Stanton's letter, Mrs. Morris relates a story of the previous evening, in part: "Last night after we came up stairs, the Genl. said to me 'a Miss Thomas sent to me for a pass to come in here today, but I did not send it for how do I know who Miss Annie Thomas is'." After an explanation from his wife, he agrees to send it. Mrs. Morris complains that he may not remember and that she [Thomas] "might lose . . . a week in the flag of truce boat," so she fills out the permit herself and transmits it to Thomas. Presumably, Mrs. Thomas was going to deliver the goods mentioned in the above letter directly to Gen. Morris at the fort.

    Annie Thomas' husband, John, was in favor of secession and was among those detained at the Fortress Monroe following his arrest on September 12, 1861. He was transferred to Fort Lafayette a few days later and was released from prison in February 1862. Both letters are in near fine condition.


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    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
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