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    Sergeant John W. Ellis, Company E, 26th North Carolina CSA: Handwritten Letter Home About Gettysburg, His Parole and Sick Leave Document, and Reunion Patch. A handwritten signed letter from Sergeant John W. Ellis of the 26th North Carolina Confederate Infantry, this document is dated July 25, 1863. Writing to his wife just after the Battle of Gettysburg, Sergeant Ellis details the loss of men in his regiment during the battle. With 588 men lost on the first day at Gettysburg, the unit regrouped for the third day charge that would make history. Confederate Major General George Pickett ordered the men from the 26th North Carolina into battle at the 'Bloody Angle.' Ellis' unit would make the farthest advance planting their colors in the Federal Works - but with the highest casualty rate of any unit. The 26th would go on to fight at The Wilderness and Petersburg before surrendering at Appomattox with General Lee.

    The letter is approximately 8" x 10" and is handwritten front and back of the sheet. In the letter addressed to his wife, Ellis tells how the 26th faced off against the famed 'Iron Brigade' in battle. Ellis had enlisted on May 28, 1861 at Cartersville in Chatham County, North Carolina. He had seen the horrors of war but somehow could write to his wife in this letter about a magazine subscription as well.

    Accompanying the letter is the original parole of Ellis dated June 12, 1865. Of the almost 1,200 men that had signed up with the 26th North Carolina only 120 would live through the war to be paroled. This 8" x 5.375" "Certificate of Release of Prisoner of War" is in good condition with a slight tear at the bottom right. On verso is the signed declaration by Ellis that he will support the Union. A physical description notes that Ellis was 5' 8" tall with brown hair, blue eyes and a light complexion.

    Another document included with this group is a 7.5" x 3.375" medical furlough for Ellis. Dated August 24, 1862, the furlough allows Ellis to travel back to North Carolina for a period of thirty-five days to recoup from a 'continued fever.' With some foxing, the document contains information about the furlough on the front and back.

    The survivors of the 26th continued to meet after the war. With this grouping is Ellis' "Chatham's Ex-Confederate Reunion August 22, 1888" ribbon. At 8.5" x 1.25" the reunion ribbon is made of green silk with block stenciled letters.

    The documents and letter are contained in a gray hardbound volume with gold engraved lettering. This is a unique set of personal and official documents chronicling this soldier from a spectacular unit and his life.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    December, 2006
    1st-2nd Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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