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    Confederate General William H. Whiting Autograph Note Signed Written During the Battle of Seven Pines on the verso of a letter signed "Melton" sending clarifications about previously given field directives. Single sheet, 5.75" x 9.25"; "Hd-Qu Edward's - May June 1st. 1862." The communication received by Whiting reads: "Genl - By 'this Junct­ion' I mean the junction or fork of the New Bridge & Nine-Miles road - which the gen'l points out as the point which must at all hazards remain in our hands. Very Resply Melton." Melton adds: "The above expression means of course no more than that we are to make a desperate fight for it. M."

    Whiting's hurried response on verso reads: "My dear Major - We begin to understand one another at last - The fault is mine - but you must be easy with a man who has had no sleep for two nights & whose position is to say the least embarrassing - I am going to try a division for Longstreet & have found as reported a position for artillery. The enemy are in full view & in heavy masses. If we can play on them we may do something yet - have indeed ... Lee with 4 pound 4 to - The musketry firing on the advance is tremendous - W.H.C. Whiting."

    The Battle of Seven Pines was the largest battle in the Eastern Theater up to that time, and was the culmination of McClellan's offensive against Confederate forces. Joseph E. Johnston, then in charge of the CSA aimed to overwhelm Union forces, but relied on an overly complicated strategy that created confusion. Most notably, placing Longstreet in tactical command over senior officers, and not communicating said directive. Longstreet's failure to follow Johnston's orders, and severe weather further exacerbated the situation. The communication offered here is an example of the confusion and lack of transparence that contributed to the challenges faced by the troops. Both sides claimed victory, but Johnston was severely wounded and Robert E. Lee was given command of the Confederate Army.

    Condition: Flattened folds and some wear and soiling. Written in pencil, with an ink docket: "Melton. A.A.G. to Genl. Whiting, and Whiting's answer endorsed. June 1st 1862." An additional note in pencil "(No. 12)", has been crossed out. Previous collector's cyphers at corner on verso. Whiting's writing is fine and lacks contrast, but remains legible.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2016
    19th Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 408

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