"Williams & Bailey from Co C must be shot"

    John McCausland Autograph Letter Signed "Geo. McCausland." One page, 7.5" x 6", Princeton, Virginia, April 22, 1863. Confederate Colonel McCausland of the 36th Virginia Infantry advises an unidentified major that two captured deserters be shot. In full:

    "I have sent all the cases from the 36th. Williams & Bailey from Co C must be shot; if it is not done for Gods sake don't send them back here. They have already done a great deal of havoc by their example. You are mistaken the law allows the South to punish desertion by death, & any other punishments (Except lashes) that the court may in their 'discretion' fix upon. I again warn you all that unless Bailey & Williams are Shot or transferred Elsewhere, I must loose a great many men."

    Our research can't definitively identify the two deserters, but Lewis E. Williams and Ballard P. Bailey, both of Company C, had deserted and then returned to their unit (William deserted in March 1862 and Bailey in July 1862). Neither was shot and both continued their service as Confederate privates. John McCausland (1836-1927) graduated from the Virginia Military Institute in 1857. After the Civil War began, he developed a reputation as an effective leader and tenacious fighter. Later in 1864, McCausland, because of his effectiveness, was promoted to brigadier general. On lined paper with smoothed folds.

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    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    12th-14th Monday-Wednesday
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