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    Confederate Proclamation Signed by John Cabell Breckinridge Confederates issued their own "Proclamation" to undermine enlistments in the Union army. John Cabell Breckinridge (1821-75) Vice-President of the United States, presidential nominee of the Southern Democratic Party against Lincoln in 1860, Confederate major general and Secretary of War of the Confederate States in the final months of the War. Manuscript document signed, "John C. Breckinridge Maj. Gen. Comg.," Headquarters, Dept. of West Virginia and Eastern Tennessee, November 7, 1864, 1 1/4 pages, 8" x 12 3/4". This appears to be a draft for a "Proclamation" issued around the time of the 1864 presidential election. "Whereas, it is desirable to restore quiet and harmony among the people of East Tennessee, and whereas it is represented that many of those serving in the armies of the enemies of the Confederate States, wish to leave those armies and to be peaceable & orderly citizens; It is therefore declared, that all inhabitants of East Tennessee who are serving in the armies of the United States, and who before the 1st day of January 1865, shall leave said service, with the purpose of leading a peaceful and orderly life, shall receive the protection of the Confederate authorities, and shall not be taken for military service, nor as hostages for those who may be seized by the United States authorities, unless they shall thereafter be guilty of acts of hostility to the Confederate Government. From this proclamation are excepted deserters from the Confederate Army, and those who for murder or other high crimes cognizable by the Courts may be subject to the jurisdiction of those tribunals. The attentions of officers & soldiers of the Confederate Army is specially called to this invitation to the United States soldiers from East Tennessee, and to the above promises of protection and are charged to respect & carry out this proclamation." This proclamation appears to have been an attempt to "cajole" soldiers into deserting from the Union ranks, their incentive being excluded from being taken as hostages or impressed into Confederate service. There are some interesting parallels with Abraham Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation, a fact not likely lost on its author. This is a fascinating and historic document from a pivotal border state, where loyalties differed from one end to the other. Minor edge tear and light spotting; generally, very fine. John Cabell Breckinridge was this country's youngest full-term Vice President, serving under President James Buchanan (1857-1861). After running against Lincoln in 1860, he went on to represent Kentucky in the House and Senate for nine months in 1861, until his being expelled by resolution. Breckinridge was responsible for the defense of Vicksburg in 1862. In 1865, he escaped to Europe after being Secretary of War in the Confederate Cabinet. He returned to Lexington from Europe in 1869, where he resumed his law practice. A remarkable piece of history worthy of the most sophisticated collection of Americana. Accompanied by COA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    April, 2005
    13th Wednesday
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