Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice

    Description

    [Battle of Antietam]: Cypher Letter From General Burnside to General McClellan. 7.75" x 9.75" two-sided letter written using an encrypted code, addressed to "Caldwell" and signed "Doyle". In actuality, the letter was a communication between Ambrose Burnside and George B. McClellan, written September 10, 1862, just seven days before the Battle of Antietam [Sharpsburg]. The letter, as intended, makes no sense when read by the average person. A transcript of the decoded letter is included (sent by the War Department to General Peter C. Doyle on January 20, 1895, complete with transmittal envelope). In full: "General McClellan: The following report just received will indicate the state of affairs here. I shall send a squadron of cavalry to New Market at once, and report to you on their return. Everything would seem to indicate that the enemy has left this neighborhood, but in accordance with your directions I shall move carefully. Hooker's corps is on the National Road in supporting distance of Ridgeville; two divisions of Reno's corps at Ridgeville; two on the Damascus and New Market Road, three and a half miles from Damascus. The reserve artillery at the forks of the road, two miles from Damascus in the direction of New Market, where our headquarters are established. Reno sent a company of cavalry out to within two miles of New Market and without meeting any pickets. The captain reports that all the citizens informed him that the enemy has left New Market." Letter has tape repairs to splits at folds with some discoloration, but is fully intact and in good condition overall.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2019
    2nd Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 175

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $300,000 (minimum $49), plus 20% of any amount between $300,000 and $3,000,000, plus 12.5% of any amount over $3,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    VIEW BENEFITS
    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
      winnings 
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2020 May 22 Space Exploration Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials

    HA.com receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source: Similarweb.com)

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424