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    [Battle of Gettysburg]. Confederate Brigadier General James L. Kemper Autograph Letter Signed as POW, with Clipped Signature. The letter is two pages of a bifolium, 5" x 8", "Fort McHenry" (a Baltimore military prison), September 7, 1863, to Nannie L. Pollock regarding the fate of her brother, Captain Thomas G. Pollock (a member of General Kemper's staff). In this letter, General Kemper breaks the bad news to Miss Pollock that her brother had died during Pickett's Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg. In relating the captain's fate, the general also communicates details of the doomed charge that took place on the final day of the battle in which the general himself was severely wounded. The letter is age-toned with smoothed folds. The sorrowful epistle reads in part:

    "On Friday the 3rd of July last my brigade was required to advance against the enemy's position, a distance of about 1000 yards, under a most destructive fire. While advancing in line of battle, I ordered Capt. Pollock to the rear of the line to superintend certain movements and rode myself to the front, attended by a single orderly. Soon after this I was shot from my horse, severely wounded, and was insensible and supposed to be dying for two days thereafter. As soon as I recovered consciousness, I made all possible inquiries as to the fate of your brother and have continued assiduously my inquiries up to this time. The only information I have received is that, after I was wounded, your brother was seen to fall suddenly from his horse, apparently lifeless. I got friends repeatedly to examine the register of wounded prisoners at Gettysburg and vicinity, but no trace of your brother could be found. As the result of my inquiries, I came to the sad conclusion that your brother was instantly killed in Friday's battle."

    Forty-year-old James Kemper was the youngest brigade commander in George Pickett's division at Gettysburg. His brigade, which included staff member Captain Pollock, was on the right flank of the line and was met by early and withering Union fire. Kemper was struck by two bullets: one to the thigh and the other to the abdomen. He was subsequently captured, rescued, and captured again. Twelve days after writing this letter from a POW camp at Baltimore, he was exchanged back to the Confederacy.

    The clipped signature (4.75" x 1.5") reads, "Very truly yours / J. L. Kemper." Penciled notations occur on the reverse.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2014
    7th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 15
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,452

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