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    [William Quantrill]. James W. Earl Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages, 7.75" x 9.75", Fort Scott [Kansas], March 19, 1862. Earl, a private in Co. "E," 2nd Ohio Cavalry, had recently had a run-in with the infamous guerilla, William Quantrill, and some of his men. Writing to his uncle and other members of his family, he relates the chain of events. Earl and the 2nd Ohio left Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, headed for Independence, Missouri, "a place much noted for its secesh." Having surrounded the town, they found to their disappointment "that the Rebels had vammoused the day before. it appears that there is a roving band . . . which we call Jayhawkers, but who are nothing more or less than highway robers of Secesh principles who live by plundering Union Men."

    Most of the Ohio men left the town, but were recalled when men whom they had left to guard came under attack: "Our boys came dashing down the road . . . teribly frightened telling us that Quantrill and Parker with his men were in town and had fired on them. we immediately started our horses on a dead run and encountered them 60 if them all mounted just opposite of the Court House . . . the way the bullets whistled and blood flowed was a caution they stood our fire for about 10 minutes when they broke and run and the Ohio boys after we chased them through town and then down a steep hill, where they attempted to make another stand but we soon broke their ranks and away they went again." Folds show some toning and weakness with separation beginning at the edges and minor loss of paper at the intersections.

    James W. Earl enlisted in the Union Army as a saddler in August 1861. Two months later he mustered into Co. "E," 2nd Ohio Cavalry. Sometime after writing this letter, Earl was captured and placed in prison in Richmond, where he died of disease on March 9, 1864.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2014
    12th Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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