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    Thomas Smyth Autograph Letter Signed "Thos A. Smyth / Brig General." One and one-quarter pages, 8" x 10", "Head Qrs 22 Div 2d Army Corps," January 19, 1865. Union Brigadier General Smyth, only thirty-two years old, died on the day General Lee surrendered to General Grant, less than three months after writing this letter recommending a promotion for Colonel Clinton MacDougall. Smyth was the last Union general killed or fatally wounded in battle.

    A native of Delaware, Smyth rose quickly through the ranks of the Union Army, serving in the battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg, among others. On April 7, during the early days of the Appomattox Campaign, a sniper's bullet fatally wounded the young brigadier general. He died two days later. This letter reads in part:

    "I am always gratified when an opportunity presents itself where i can commend the qualifications of a deserving man, and in the present case, I take pleasure in adding my testimony in behalf of a gentleman whose distinguished services, during the present rebellion, have been frequently brought to my notice. It is now nearly three years since I met Colls [Clinton Dugald] MacDougall of the 111th New York Vols. . . . I served in the same Division with Col MacDougall, and found him upon all occasions a finished gentleman a brave and able officer, And with due deference. I would state that in my opinion his meritorious service, should be rewarded by some appropriate action of our government."

    Smyth's recommendation was convincing: On February 25, MacDougall was promoted to brigadier general by brevet. On lined paper with smoothed folds. Clean and crisp.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2011
    13th-14th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 10
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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