DescriptionCharles D. Gilmore Autograph Letter Signed with Hand-Drawn Map and Captured Confederate Envelope. Two pages, 5" x 8", Chancellorsville [Virginia], May 5, 1863. Writing to "Miss Augusta," Major Charles D. Gilmore, 20th Maine Volunteer Infantry, acknowledges his promise and informs her that he "...directed my 'contraband' servant to search the pockets of dead rebels for postage stamps & confederate 'shin plasters' he found none." Contraband was a common term for an escaped slave who was affiliated with the Union army. He continues: "...but in a rebel officer's haversack he found the enclosed envelopes, which is a convincing proof that the blockade of the Federal Government is more effective than some of the copperheads of the north would like to believe."
As it is the final days of the Battle of Chancellorsville, Gilmore discusses the engagement saying: "We are having a great battle or a succession of them...it is now night and Genl. [John] Sedgwick's guns can be heard some five miles below us...he crossed the Rappahanock [sic] below Fredericksburg - has fought his way through that strong place, and drove the enemy before him to his present position. if he can hold on where he is until morning it now seems that the rebels must surrender or be obliged to flee from their present place...Lt. Col. [Joshua Lawrence] Chamberlain & myself with about 500 men have charge of the telegraph line from Gen. Hooker to Falmouth & our regiment are strung out on the whole line 18 miles...we have lost but one man so far he had both arms amputated today..The loss of killed & wounded in our army up to this time is about 10,000. The enemy have suffered more." Separation on both pages at the intersection of the main vertical and horizontal folds, repaired on the verso of each with tape. An additional 1" tear at the right edges of both pages has also been repaired on the verso. Slight chipping at the top edge.
With a fantastic 7.75" x 9.75", pencil map showing the positions of the Union army around the town of Chancellorsville. General Hooker's head quarters is indicated in red, as is the positions of the Confederate army. At bottom left is a table indicating the Union army corps involved in the fight. Also, one of the captured envelopes, measuring 5.5" x 3.25". The envelope is cheaply made of brown paper.
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