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    Description

    Robert E. Lee Autograph Letter Signed "RE Lee." One page, 7.5" x 8.25" (sight), "Headquarters;" July 13, 1862. Addressed to Gustavus Woodson Smith, regarding Smith's request for a medical leave extension. A stern Lee writes to Smith regarding his application: "I am very glad to learn through the letter of St. Beckham that your general health has been improved by your visit to the Sulphur Springs. I hope a continuance of the application of the waters may effect a perfect restoration. Should you desire a longer sojourn than you first intended, I must ask you ask you to forward me the necessary application. With kindest regards to Mrs. Smith & best wishes for your health & happiness, I remain very truly yours." The letter is matted and framed with a black and white image of Lee and a plaque, measuring 19.5" x 14.5" overall.

    Gustavus W. Smith (1821-1896) was a civil engineer who served in the Mexican War and as Street Commissioner for New York City. Smith briefly took command of the Army of Northern Virginia after General Joseph E. Johnston was wounded at the Battle of Seven Pines, but was replaced by Robert E. Lee the following day. President Davis had arrived at Headquarters, only to find Smith nearly on the verge of a nervous breakdown. In one of his most important decisions of the war, Davis put Lee in command, who had been serving as Davis' military aide. On June 2, Smith took a leave of absence to recuperate, and it is this leave which Lee refers to in his letter.

    Condition: With mail folds and minor foxing.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    November, 2020
    12th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 18
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 540

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