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    [Battle of Gettysburg]. John B. Bachelder: Two Autograph Letters Signed "Jno. B. Bachelder." In these two letters, John Bachelder (1825-1894), the preeminent nineteenth century historian and cartographer of the Battle of Gettysburg, is writing to General Thomas H. Ruger regarding his publication of a history of Gettysburg. The first, three integral pages, 5" x 8", New York, March 15, 1866, Bachelder writes to Ruger asking for a description of his part in the battle, in part: "Although I should be glad to see your official Report I should value a descriptive letter from you, of what you saw, very much more. I have Genl. Williams report, and I also have from him about one hundred pages of private manuscrip [sic] relating to the battle. I have the same from many of the generals . . . I hope you will favor me with a narrative of your observations." The second, two pages, 5.5" x 9", New York, April 11, 1867, Bachelder writes in response to Ruger's inquiry of the publication of his history, in part: "I will say that I am not able at present to fix any time for the issue of the work. I hardly think within the next year. . . . I have been waiting for Eighteen months to get extracts from the reports of the battle of Gettysburg captured with Richmond." Two bands of heavy toning crosses horizontally on the earlier letter and one runs vertically on the later.

    With both original transmittal envelopes and a four page printed engraving request addressed to General Ruger asking for $150 to have a steel engraved portrait made for the book.


    More Information:

    Bachelder was educated in the Military Academy system of New Hampshire, moving to Reading, Pennsylvania to work at the Pennsylvania Military Institute, where he would become principal in 1851. He became involved with the Pennsylvania militia and was appointed colonel in 1852. Returning to New Hampshire in 1853, he began his career as an artist and, with the outbreak if the Civil War, became obsessed with maintaining the artistic and historic record of the conflict, eventually concentrating his efforts on the battlefield of Gettysburg. He interviewed thousands of those who participated in the battle, including, in his words, 'the commanders of every regiment and battery in the Army of the Potomac." In 1869 Bachelder commissioned noted artist James Walker to create the monumental painting "Battle of Gettysburg: The Repulse of Longstreet's Assault" and in 1873 wrote and published the first guide book for the battlefield. The remainder of his life was dedicated to documenting and memorializing the battle, and he was responsible, more than any other man, for the placing of tablets and monuments, as well as the establishment of Gettysburg as a national military park.

     

    Thomas H. Ruger (1833-1907), a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, reenlisted in the volunteer army with the outbreak of the Civil War where he saw action at the Battle of Antietam and led troops at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He remained in the regular army after the war and was breveted a brigadier general for his actions at Gettysburg. He served as the military governor of Georgia and as head of the Department of the South during Reconstruction. He was superintendent of the U. S. Military Academy before being posted on the frontier, participating in the Crow War.



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