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    Historic handwritten order from the President of the Confederacy urging General Bragg "to employ all available force against the enemy" and to use five named Generals to stop General Sherman's "March to the Sea". Telegram from Gen. Lee to follow.

    Jefferson Davis Autograph Telegram Signed: "Jefferson Davis" as President of the Confederacy, one page, 5" x 8". Richmond, Virginia, November 22, 1864. Headed by Davis: "Telegram". To General Braxton Bragg, Wilmington, North Carolina. Vertical fold passes through "ff"of signature. Small stain in upper blank margin, possibly a mounting remnant showing through. Else in very fine condition. Matted with a portrait of Davis and two metallic plaques, one detailing the military situation referred to in this letter. Ornately framed (chipped at lower left), overall size 35" x 25".

    In full: "If the condition of affairs will permit I wish you to proceed via Columbia to Augusta to direct efforts to assemble and employ all available force against the enemy now advancing into South Eastern Georgia, Genl. Hardee and perhaps Taylor & Beauregard at Macon Brig Genl Fay and perhaps Chesnut at Augusta. Genl Lee will telegraph to you."

    On February 24, 1864, General Braxton Bragg was assigned to duty at Richmond, Virginia, by President Jefferson Davis, charged with the conduct of the military operations of the armies of the Confederate States. In November, he was given command of the Department of North Carolina in Wilmington.

    On September 1, 1864, Union General William Tecumseh Sherman's troops captured the city of Atlanta. On November 12, 1864, ten days before Jefferson Davis wrote this telegram, after setting fire to railroad yards, factories, mills, houses, cotton gins, and anything else he felt would aid the Confederate troops, General Sherman began his "March to the Sea." With four Corps in two columns 60 miles wide, between Macon and Augusta, Sherman attempted to confuse and deceive the enemy about their destinations. The Confederates could not tell whether he would march on Macon, Augusta, or Savannah. Sherman's troops encountered its first resistance to its march the very day this telegram was written, at Griswoldville, Georgia, near Macon. Union losses were 13 killed, 79 wounded, and two missing. Confederate losses were estimated from 600 to 1,100 (of which 600 were captured). The march continued. General Beauregard ordered General Taylor in Alabama to move with his available forces into Georgia; but Taylor had no available forces, and could only go in person to Macon. Sherman's armies reached the outskirts of Savannah on December 10, 1864, but found that General Hardee had about 10,000 soldiers waiting for them. Hardee's soldiers had flooded the surrounding rice fields, making it difficult for Sherman's troops to approach the city. Within a few days, Sherman's troops had connected with the naval fleet under Rear Admiral John A. Dahlgren off the coast and was able to obtain the supplies and siege artillery needed. On December 17th, Sherman sent a message to Hardee demanding the surrender of Savannah. General Beauregard ordered Hardee to withdraw from Savannah since a surrender would cost the Confederacy the only remaining major fighting force in Georgia. Hardee's forces, including Brig. Genl. Chesnut's command of about 1500 men, left Savannah. On December 22, 1864, Sherman captured the city of Savannah.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2006
    12th-13th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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