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    Quincy A. Gillmore Autograph Letter Signed "QA Gillmore." Two pages, front and back, 5" x 7.75", Morris Island, South Carolina; August 21, 1863. Approximately one month after Gillmore's promotion to Major General, he found himself in command of the Department of the South and the X Corps at Charleston. In a letter to "My dear General" (possibly General George W. Cullum), Gillmore provides a report on his situation outside of Charleston and requests that a new Parrott gun be sent to him. It reads, in full:

    "Thanks for yr note of the 13th - & for Reese's assignment to this Dept. Please thank Barnard for his kind offer to serve here under. For reasons, I would prefer a junior. The muzzle of the 300 pdr. was blown off an hour ago by the premature explosion of a shell in the piece. Seymour says there is another 300 pdr. Parrott somewhere north. Please sent it down. Dahlgren is quite ill, & likely to remain so, from his appearance. We want well men for our task here, and no others. I am delighted at the steps taken with regard to the newspaper correspondent nuissance [sic]. I am safely located on this Island, & defy Beauregard and his whole army to get all off, or stop our operations. I have not yet heard from my letter to him of this date, although the four hours are just up. Shall open on Charleston tonight. Regards to friends."

    In early July 1863, Admiral John A. Dahlgren was given command of the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, with orders to stymie the effectiveness of the city of Charleston, by recapturing Fort Sumter. On July 10, 1863, Union forces landed on Morris Island and made preparations for an attack on Charleston Harbor. While initial attacks on the islands were successful, assaults on the surrounding fortifications, such as Battery Wagner and Battery Gregg failed, most notably with the loss by Robert Gould Shaw and his 54th Massachusetts Regiment. Ultimately, General Quincy A. Gillmore was forced to lay siege on Charleston from a distance. Gillmore had begun shelling the city a few days prior, but had sent communications to Confederate General Beauregard in which he demanded the rebels surrender. On August 21, 1863, he sent his ultimatum to Beauregard, demanding that he evacuate the city and giving them 4 hours to respond. With no reply from the defenders of Charleston and with the installation of the "Swamp Angel" finally complete, Gillmore commenced shelling Charleston on August 22. From approximately 1:30 am until the following day, the Swamp Angel hurled 200-pound shells, filled with liquid and solid Greek Fire, into the city. The gun fired a total of 36 rounds before it burst. By August 26, Gillmore and his men were within 200 yards of Battery Wagner. Although the Union forces were unable to retake Fort Sumter in 1863, they continued to bombard the fort until 1865. From the Bret J. Formichi American Civil War Rarities Collection.

    Condition: Flattened mail folds, with toning at the top edge. Spotting and soiling on the front and back upper edge. A small amount of paper loss at the top left corner.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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