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    Shortly before the final Civil War battle, "Rip" Ford reminds his men that he is "determined to contest every inch of ground"

    Battle of Palmito Ranch: John S. "Rip" Ford Printed Broadside with Accompanying Manuscript Map. The broadside is headed, "Head Quarters Exped'y Forces." One printed page, 6.75" x 9", May 12, 1865, Brownsville [Texas]. On the first day of the two day Battle of Palmito Ranch, regarded as the final battle of the Civil War, Colonel Ford makes the following passionate plea in one of the last Confederate imprints:

    General Orders
    No. __.
    I. Every officer and soldier of the command will hold himself in readiness to march to meet the enemy at a moment's notice.
    II. The Brigadier General Commanding is determined to contest every inch of ground, and, if possible, to drive back the insolent foe who advances to rob and enslave us.
    III. Now is the time for every soldier and every patriot to show his love for his Country and his Cause. Every man must do his duty, and all will be right. Men resolved to be free, can never be conquered.
    JOHN S. FORD,
    Co. Comd'g.

    Sadly, neither Ford nor his men knew that when they fought the "insolent foe" on May 12 and 13, 1865, the main body of the Confederate Army had already surrendered at Appomattox Court House a month earlier on April 9. Ironically, Palmito Ranch was a Confederate victory. On toned paper, with chipping along some edges. Encased in mylar. Fine condition.

    Included is an original manuscript map (one page, 16.5" x 10", n.d.) showing Brownsville on the Rio Grande. Also marked are roads, ferries, redoubts, reserves, Freeport, convents, "Brick Yard," and other fortifications. On the left side of the page are written map description: "The fortification marked A is situated between the Convent and Freeport. It is made with breast works of sand and earth. It has wooden steps inside. . . . The half circles marked B and C are defended by 15 pieces of artillery (6 to 12 powders.) The reserve has 5 Parrot guns . . . . The Ferry at Freeport is immediately in the rear of said reserve. At Brazos the Federals have built a round fort. . . . At Point Isabel they have a square fort. . . . Fort Brown is abandoned and destroyed. The Federals number 3200 in all (Negroes included). Gen. J. F.[sic, F. S.] Herron is in command." The text is likely in the hand of one of Ford's officers. On the verso is written, "Plan of enemy's north - at Brownsville." The light blue paper, which is encapsulated in mylar, has separated along the vertical fold. Other folds exhibit weakness and some separation. A few small holes near the text, one affecting the text. The broadside and map are protected in a quarter morocco small portfolio with folds. Very good condition.

    Reference: Winkler 1350.


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    Auction Dates
    November, 2009
    21st Saturday
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