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    [Confederate POWs]. Annie C. Thomas Archive. Comprised of over thirty letters and field passes spanning the years 1861 through 1905, the bulk of which is war-dated (1861-1865). The majority of the letters are addressed to Annie C. Thomas, wife of Dr. John Hanson Thomas, a Maryland secessionist and member of the state legislature who was among those detained at the Fortress Monroe following his arrest on September 12, 1861. He was transferred to Fort Lafayette a few days later and was released from prison in February 1862.

    Annie was instrumental in alleviating the suffering (as best she could) of those Confederate prisoners held in Federal prison camps, stemming from the help she gave to her husband during his imprisonment. A member of a prominent Baltimore family, she utilized her extensive contacts to make requests to men in high positions in the government and in the Union Army on behalf of those unfortunate souls languishing in captivity.

    Mrs. Thomas' activities are best illustrated in a typed letter from her youngest son (the letter is unsigned) to Col. John Cassels, dated August 22, 1905. His mother having died "some years since," he was going through old letters and came across one describing "the numerous letters received by my mother in connection with constant contributions of supplies to Confederate prisoners. I recall the circumstances myself of assistance to the prisoners, and I find that there are hundreds of letters among those asking for assistance and many letters from Federal officers and member of the Cabinet, and it is very gratifying to find that in every instance the communications on the part of the Federal authorities were of the most courteous and gentlemanly and painstaking character." He finds this astounding as "two of my brothers were in the Confederate army and I was arrested in going South and was paroled, although only sixteen years of age, and my father being a member of the Legislature in '61 was arrested . . . where he spent eight or nine months [in prison] and was finally paroled, so you see our sympathies were quite largely on the other side."

    Of note is a letter dated September 17, 1861, just days after the arrest of the secession leaning members of the Maryland legislature, including her husband, Mrs. Thomas received a letter warning her that men posing as police officers were searching the homes of those who were arrested so "that you may not open your doors to the claim of any such gangs." Two days later, she received a letter from the Baltimore police department assuring her that they have "received no order to search your house, nor do I know that it is contemplated."

    Included are several letters from Bt. Brig. Gen. William W. Morris, a friend of the family from before the war, allowing her to pass through the lines, though in one dated September 4, 1863, he remarks: "I enclose you a daily pass, not for the purpose of visiting the rebel prisoners, but your Union friends at the fort." Other contacts include Gen. Alexander Webb; Gen. Gilman Marston; Bt. Brig. Gen. John Woolley; Lt. John V. Bouvier, the great-grandfather of First Lady Jackie Kennedy; Bt. Brig. Gen. Joab Patterson; Maj. Gen. Christopher Augur; et al.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2014
    8th-9th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 430

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