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    Godfrey Weitzel Archive Including War-Dated Letters by Weitzel together with Four Cartes de Visite, an Albumen, and Other Ephemera Kept by His Widow.
    Includes: A large period albumen (image 6.5" x 5.25", mounted to an overall size of 7.5" x 6.5") is identified on the mount as "General Albert Kantz - Major General Godfrey Weitzel Civil War 1864". Some foxing to the mount, with good contrast and detail on the albumen.
    Two cartes de visite of Weitzel one signed "Yours Godfrey". Both CDVs have Walter & Heuck's stamps on the verso. Stating on the back that the image was taken in 1864 and that Weitzel was 28 years old.
    Two cartes de visite of Weitzel and General Farmer (also taken at Walter & Heuck's), identified on the bottom mount adding that the images were "taken in rainstorm at Cincinnati, Ohio.
    A fifth carte de visite is of Louisa, which lists on the verso that it was taken when Louisa was 22 years old. This image has been hand-colored, with paper loss at the bottom of the albumen and some damage to the mount.

    Four Autograph Letters Signed "Godfrey" totaling 24 pages, all dated from March through May 1864 to his future wife Louisa Bogen. Although primarily sent as love letters, Weitzel writes in great detail about fighting in the Battle of Drewry's Bluff in his letters. In small part: "Cobb's Hill. Va. May 8th... We can see Petersburg easy. My division arrived here on Friday morning last. On Friday afternoon I made a reconnaissance to Westphall station on the railroad with my 1st Brigade. I had a fight and lost ten killed and sixty wounded. Yesterday one of my brigades and four others all commanded by Genl Brook's advanced and destroyed the railroad and telegraph. My brigade lost about one hundred... Beauregard is in command of the rebels out here...
    "Cobb's Hill near Petersburg, Va. May 21st 1864... At daybreak... in a dense fog the enemy who had been heavily reinforced during the night from Richmond headed by Jeff Davis, Beauregard and Bragg and got on the right flank and rear of my line which was nearest to the front and in a very short time overwhelmed one of my brigades and broke it...I never have been under such fire nor ever seen such men slaughtered so. The rebels came on to my line in dense masses determined to drive me, and they were just piled up in heaps. During the night before I had made my men make log breastworks in front of their line, and there I made them take some telegraph wire and stretch it along my whole front near the ground, winding it firmly around stump &c. The rebels came on to charge my breastworks. Everytime they came to the wire as it was foggy they stumbled and fell over it and then I peppered it to them... About 250 of them surrendered... Last night General Butler sent for me and told me that he must have me near him... The truth is that he did not know how to manage so large an army and wants me to help him..." It is likely in one of these letters that he enclosed the elaborately ornate holograph poem drawn by W.H. Williams of the 10th New Hampshire Corps which is included. Weitzel married Louisa in January 1865.

    Autograph Letter Signed "G. Weitzel", 3 pages on imprinted Twenty-Fifth Army Corps letterhead, 8" x 10", February 27, 1865. Weitzel writes to Jake [Pfau] reproaching him for referring to his soldiers as "'niggers'", and providing what he deems more appropriate terms: "they are called 'negroes' here, or familiarly 'smoked Yankees'". He also sends news of the war, "If Sherman succeeds I believe we will had peace soon. The rebels are deserting in droves... 200 deserters came in yesterday." Some soiling and separations at folds. Weitzel assumed command of the Twenty-Fifth Army Corps in November 1864 consisting of black soldiers serving under white officers.

    Two war-dated letters addressed to Weitzel; the first sends congratulations on his marriage to Louisa and is signed "G.L.L.". The second ALS is from "W. von Bechtoh late Capt. 45th U.S. Col. Troops", Washington, D.C., May 17, 1865. The writer is sending thanks for Weitzel's letter and advises that he is returning home. He writes, "circumstances would not allow me to do more in forwarding the noble cause of the bloody conflict... I part with the sincerest regret from the American army..." Unevenly trimmed at the top without affecting the text, some soiling, otherwise very good.

    W.P. Derby Autograph Letter Signed, 4pp, 8" x 12.5", Springfield, May 4, 1883. Derby writes to Weitzel asking for clarification of information Weitzel had previously provided regarding the Battle of Drewry's Bluff. Derby's letter indicates that all of his research supports Weitzel's accounts and that he is "sorry for Genl Butler that he should seem to think it necessary to defend his military career by throwing disrepute upon his troops." Great content giving both Confederate and Union veterans memories of the events of the battle. Derby was likely writing to research his book Bearing Arms in the Twenty Seventh Massachusetts. Light soiling to first and last ages, otherwise very good.

    Two sheets (4pp total) listing Weitzel's demerits during his attendance at West Point. Weitzel is cited repeatedly for 'trifling' behavior including laughing and talking at inappropriate times, and inattention. Minor separations at folds and negligible soiling on the final page. These sheets have been removed from a larger ledger and represent a unique opportunity to observe the formative years of a future General's military career.

    Other ephemera includes: Period printing of General Orders No. 4, March 24, 1884, announcing the death of General Weitzel; letter on Army Mutual Aid Association letterhead transmitting a check for $1000 to Weitzel's widow Louisa a his beneficiary, ticket for a performance on June 14th given in conjunction with a party given for "Genl Grant and Genl & Mrs Sheridan on June 15 1882"; and period newspaper clippings giving details of activities by Weitzel and his troops. Also with photographic copies of letters by Weitzel (including letters in this archive), a typed transcript of a report made by Weitzel 14 years after the close of the war as prepared by the Richmond Civil War Centennial Committee, and an 1861 map of Richmond showing civil war battlegrounds. An extensive archive providing both the personal and military experience of this Union General.


    Auction Info

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    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
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