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    Lt. Col. William R. Carter Autograph Letters (Three) Signed Containing Troop Movement Orders, Along with Other Related Documents. All written shortly before the Overland Campaign. All letters are on lined-paper, 6.5" x 8", dated early February 1864 and addressed to Captain Richard H. Watkins ("Co. K Stuarts Cavalry"). All have minor bleed-through.

    More specifically, these letters contain information transmitted between officers in Stuart's Cavalry Corps, Army of Northern Virginia concerning new recruits and orders for sudden troop movements. The first letter, two pages written on February 3 from "Nottoway" County, Virginia, refers to several new enlistment possibilities. If Capt. Watkins, who is on furlough at his home in Prince Edward County, has "more applications than you can take," Lt. Col. Carter writes him to "please direct them to 'Co. E or Co. B'." On a personal note, Carter reports that he "has been living on buttermilk & sleeping since I came to the county."

    The second letter, one and one-half pages written on February 8 from "Nottoway near Junction," quotes an order from Robert E. Lee's nephew, General Fitzhugh Lee (a divisional commander under Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart): "Last night I sent the following telegram from Maj. Gen. Fitz Lee at Richd. 'Order the companies of your command to concentrate at Atties Station, Hanover County at once.' This telegram reached the Junction at 40 minutes past 9." Carter then ordered Watkins to "collect your company as quickly as possible & move to Atties Depot on the Central RR at once. . . . Order your men to take 3 or 4 days rations with them cooked enough to last . . . . Make them take every long range gun you find in your county that can be got."

    The third letter, one and one-quarter pages written on February 8 from Lunenberg [Virginia] and designated "Official Business," repeats General Fitzhugh Lee's order from the previous letter, with the explanation, "I wrote you by mail this morning, but knowing the uncertainty, I sent this [...] hand of communication." This letter is missing text from the lower left corner of page one. Toned.

    Lt. Col. William R. Carter (1833-1864), a Virginia lawyer before the war, served in 3rd Virginia Regiment, Company "E". Five months after writing these letters, he died on July 8, 1864, at Gordonsville, Virginia, of wounds received in June during the Overland Campaign. Before receiving these letters, Captain Richard Henry Watkins (1825-1905), in the 3rd Virginia Regiment, Company "K", had been wounded twice.

    Included is a partly printed "Danville Rail Road Only" Confederate pass granting Captain Watkins permission to visit "Prince Edw[ard County, Virginia] upon honor not to communicate in writing . . . any fact ascertained, which, if known to the enemy, might be injurious to the Confederate States." Captain Watkins, who was beginning two weeks of furlough, has signed and dated (January 20, 1864) the verso. Included is the transmittal envelope, postmarked "Burkesville, VA", likely the home of Lt. Col. Carter, and addressed to Captain Watkins with "Official Business" written along the top margin.

    Also included is a three page letter, written in pencil on January 28, 1864, from Prince Edward, Virginia, from Thomas H. Knight to Captain Watkins, concerning recruits ("there are a good many good men desire to join us, if we can arrange it so as to take them in"). All items are in very good to fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2009
    12th Saturday
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