Description

    George Donnellan Autograph Letter Signed "G. Donnellan." One and one-quarter pages, 7.5" x 9.5", on blue, lined paper, Camp Pickens Head Quarters [Virginia], July 22, 1861. Addressed to General Daniel Ruggles, Confederate spy George Donnellan is relaying information following the Battle of First Manassas. It reads in full:

    "In the hurry of war movements everybody is so busy that I have not yet conferred with Genl. [P. G. T.] Beauregard and the bearer leaves before breakfast hence there is but little to communicate."

    "Of the 50 pieces artillery I mentioned in dispatch you forwarded here yesterday 30 have been captured. Our loss has been pretty heavy but that of the enemy much heavier. 400 to 500 of Pattersons men are here prisoners. I will give you a detail item of news after conferring with Genl. Beauregard. Mr. Gales who accompanied me here returns but with one horse, the one I rode having been hitched as other horses are, and has either been stolen or borrowed or has strayed. I will notify Genl Holmes of the fact and endeavor to have the horse found and returned by the courier."

    George Donnellan was in the same Washington-based spy ring as Rose O'Neal Greenhow that was managed by Beauregard aide Thomas Jordan. He was used to carry messages between Greenhow, Jordan, and Beauregard, including information on troop movements that Jefferson Davis later credited as the reason for the Confederate victory at First Manassas. Greenhow and other of her associates were arrested shortly after the battle by Allan Pinkerton, but Donnellan, with the Confederate Army, escaped capture. Little is known about the life of George Donnellan making this a unique piece for your collection and an inside look at the world of Civil War espionage.


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    Auction Dates
    December, 2011
    8th-9th Thursday-Friday
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