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    Revolutionary War hero and martyr

    Colonel John Dooly Autograph Letter Signed. Four pages including integral address leaf, 6" x 7.5", "Camp at Butler's Creek, June 27th, 1779." Georgia patriot and American Revolutionary leader John Dooly commanded a regiment that played an important role in the victory over the Tories at the Battle of Kettle Creek (February 14, 1779), near present-day Washington, Georgia. Four months later, as commander of the Georgia militia, Dooly wrote the following letter from his camp at Butler's Creek (just south of Augusta, Georgia) to Major General Benjamin Lincoln. In full:

    "Sir, I wrote you yesterday by Goven'r Houstoun [sic] but since find that I shall stand in need of Surgins [sic] for my Men and as the bearer of this letter Doctor Wells is appointed to act, I must begg the favour of you to let him have what Medicine you think will Answer for the present Expedition, tho if you can Spair [sic] a Small quantity now I expect I shall want them in the course of the Summer Season as I have often Men Sick and no way to Relieve them. I would be glad if you have it in your Power when you Send the Reinforcement to me that is if you think proper to do it that you would Send two HHds [hogsheads]of Rum, as the water where I am is very bad and the Men will be in much need of a little liquour [sic] as some must be Sick at this Season of the year.

    "You Mentioned in your last to me that you wanted the Vouchers Returned to you for the Thousand Dollars that I Rec'd by Maj'r Smith from you. I have now Sent you the Vouchers by Mr. Wells and there is Some Small Balance Coming to me and I should be obliged to you to send it to me And I do assure you Sir, that it is Impossible for me to do any great Business in the Militiary [sic] way if I can have no Supply of Money and as you Seem to have some Doubt of Supplying me with Money to Answer Some Publick [sic] Services I cou'd [sic] Heartily wish you wou'd [sic] appoint Some person to pay of Expenses when proper Voucher is Returned to him for the Disbursements of the Money. I must beg your pardon for the Grand Mistake I made when I Drew upon you for $5000 pound Sterling by Maj'r Smith, for I Declare Sir upon my Hon'r that it was a Mistake, it was only £500 I intended to Draw on you for which at that time was not only half the Money that was wanting for to pay of the Different Spies and Express so as it Don't Answer you to Send me Money to pay of these Expenses I hope your Excellency will appoint Some person to come up soon and do it. I must now beg leave to Ask One Singular favour of you which I Hope you will grant. That is I have a brother in your Camps. I believe in Col. Sumter's Regem't and as I have not seen him this three years I should be Glad if your Excellency cou'd [sic] order his Colo. to give him a furlow [sic] to Come & See me as he has been in the Service Ever Since these times first began and I have now but two More brothers and they are both in the Camp with me. One I have had killed in the Warr [sic] so I Hope he will Get a furlow [sic] for 30 days at which time he Shall Return again. I Have the Hon'r to be Sir your very Humble John Dooly."

    In early 1780, America's military fortunes turned, and a massive British army forced General Lincoln and the Continental Army of the South to surrender. Although Dooly wished to continue fighting a guerrilla war against the British and the Tories, he was convinced instead to surrender, becoming a prisoner of war on parole. Dooly then returned home to await his fate. While there, a small band of Tories entered Dooly's home and killed him, most likely in retaliation for his actions at Kettle Creek. A short time later, several Tories appeared at the doorstep of Dooly's neighbor Nancy Hart (wife of Benjamin Hart who served under Dooly at Kettle Creek) demanding food and bragging of having murdered Dooly. Hart fed the soldiers and gave them liquor, and when she'd gained their confidence, she began to quietly secret away their weapons. One of the soldiers caught her in the act of taking his musket, and she shot and killed him; the others she held at gunpoint until her husband's militia troops could arrive. Benjamin Hart, as an officer of the Georgia militia, sanctioned the hanging of the captured Tories. Letter shows heavy toning and moderate soiling at edges and corners. Laid in to a heavier 7.75" x 9.5" window sheet, providing strength while allowing for unrestricted viewing of all pages.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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