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    Jefferson Davis War-Date Letter About the Call-Up of Slaves to Advance War Effort! Letter Signed, as president of the Confederate States of America, 1 page, 8" by 10", Richmond, January 30, 1863; to Governor Letcher of Virginia. In fine condition. The Confederate Army - far more than the Federal - was never reluctant to use African American labor in non-combat roles; tens of thousands of slaves were used to build fortifications, dig latrines, and haul supplies. This letter concerns their impressments - a service detested by both slave and slave owner alike, and a thorny problem for those, like Letcher, who had a constituency to please but a war to win. In full: "I invite your attention to the enclosed communications from several members of Congress and of the Legislature, in reference to the propriety of exempting certain counties from my recent call upon you for slaves to work upon fortifications. Convinced that you can, much better than myself, decide upon the merits of the case, it is referred to you with the assurance that I will acquiesce in your judgment upon the subject, and cheerfully withdraw any call you may deem inexpedient." On the verso is a letter in the hand of George W. Munford, Secretary of the Commonwealth of Virginia, replying on January 31st that Governor Letcher has "exempted the Counties of Southampton & Sussex from the call for Slaves to work upon fortifications" and that "the remaining Counties will be required to meet your requisitions." From the Henry E. Luhrs Collection. Accompanied by LOA from PSA/DNA.

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    Auction Dates
    February, 2006
    20th-21st Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 8
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