[Maryland Secessionist John Hanson Thomas]. Roger A. Pryor Autograph Letter Signed. One page with integral blank, 7.75" x 9.75", Fort Lafayette [New York], February 14, 1865. Having been imprisoned as a spy in Fort Lafayette since late November 1864, Gen. Pryor sent this letter to Annie Gordon Thomas, the wife of Maryland doctor, legislator, and secessionist, John Hanson Thomas, who himself spent six months in prison for his pro-Confederate stance in the early days of the war, in part: "So few are the articles they permit us to receive . . . that perhaps you will find it impracticable to furnish me the provisions you suggest. With your consent, therefore, I will reserve any call on your generosity, until my funds are exhausted. . . . Money is more available for our purposes then contributions in kind - as the experience of your husband has doubtless taught you." Mrs. Thomas had two sons serving in the Confederate Army -- Lt. Raleigh C. Thomas on the staff of Gen. Lunsford Lomax and Capt. John Hanson Thomas Jr. on the staff of Gen. William Loring. Pryor makes mention of the boys at the end of the letter: "I congratulate you on the good tidings from your sons. I have requested Mrs Pryor to communicate with them, and to endeavor, by attention to their wants, to repay in some measure, their Mother's services to her husband." With the original transmittal envelope. Folds, else fine.

    Pryor (1828-1919), a former congressman from Virginia, served in the first Confederate Congress and joined the 3rd Virginia Cavalry as a colonel. He was promoted to brigadier general, but after an unsuccessful career as a field commander during First Manassas, the Seven Days' Battles, and Antietam, he resigned his commission, reenlisting several months later as a private and scout in the Virginia Cavalry. He was captured in November 1864 and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. He was released from prison on President Lincoln's order shortly before the end of the war.

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