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    Extremely Rare And Important A. P. Hill War Date ALS To General Lee

    A. P. Hill, Autograph Letter Signed to Robert E. Lee, Requests Appointment as Major General four pages, 7.5" x 9.75", "Hd Qrs 2d Corps", May 24, 1863, to General Robert E. Lee. This, one of Major General A. P. Hill's few surviving Civil War letters, was written while the Army of Northern Virginia was being reorganized in the wake of Stonewall Jackson's death. Lee needed a new divisional commander before launching what would become the Gettysburg Campaign. The most likely candidates were brigadiers Harry Heth and William Pender. As it happened, both generals were promoted and led divisions into Pennsylvania. Here A. P. Hill makes a passionate recommendation as follows: "I very respectfully beg leave to submit the following for your consideration. I believe there is to be one appointment of Major Gen for the Light Division. I do not think I claim for this Division anything more than is due, where I say that it has borne itself well and unitedly on every field from Mechanicsville to Chancellorsville. I ascribe its good conduct to its 'espirit du Corps', to its pride in its name, and to its uniform 'shoulder to shoulder feeling', and good feeling between the different Brigades. If a judicious appointment of Major General is not made, I fear that all this will be lost. The two most prominent candidates are Gens Heth and Pender. Of Gen Heth, I have but to say that I consider him a most excellent officer, and gallant soldier, and had he been with the Division through all its hardships, and acquired the confidence of the men, there is no man I had rather seen promoted than he. Now this is not the case. On the other hand Gen Pender has fought with the Divisions in every battle, he has been four times wounded and never left the field, he has risen by death and wounds from fifth Brigadier to be its senior, had the best drilled and disciplined Brigade in the Division, and more than all, possesses the unbridled confidence of the Division. At the battle of Chancellorsville he seized the colors, and on horseback led his Brigade up to and in to the Federal intrenchments(sp). The effect of such examples of daring gallantry at critical moments is incalculable. I am very earnest in this matter, for I know that 10,000 men, led by a commander whom they know and have fought with may turn the tide of battle, and I do not think the Confederacy can afford to have this army defeated. Hence, as much as I admire & respect Gen Heth, I am conscientiously of opinion that in the opening campaign my Divisions under him, will not be half as effective as under Gen Pender. I would suggest however, that if it is decided to promote Gen Heth that then a new division be formed by uniting Gen Heth's Brigade, Gen Archers Brigade, with two other Brigades, (say Ramseurs) & give Heth command, suffering Pender to retain his men, McGowan's, Thomas' and Lane's. Very Respectfully,". Evenly toned with smoothed fold lines and still crisp. Very fine condition.
    Provenance:The William Turner Collection

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    Auction Dates
    June, 2007
    24th-25th Sunday-Monday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
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