Description[Maryland Secessionist John Hanson Thomas]. Roger A. Pryor Autograph Letter Signed with a Secondary Letter from Reuben L. Walker. One page with integral blank, 4.5" x 7", Fort Lafayette [New York], January 27, 1865. Having spent the last two months imprisoned at Fort Lafayette, Gen. Pryor wrote to Annie Gordon Thomas, the wife of Maryland doctor, legislator, and secessionist, John Hanson Thomas, in part: "I beg to make grateful acknowledgment of the kindness which prompted your letter . . . I thank you; from my heart I thank you, that you have deigned to remember me in my misfortune. . . . Your husband is known to me only by public reputation . . . At present I am in no urgent need of assistance. Should I require any essential article of comfort, I will not hesitate to call on you for a contribution. We are elate with the hope of an early exchange. Are we doomed to another cruel disappointment? . . . You can understand my anxiety to return South at this particular time." With the original transmittal envelope. Folds, else fine.
Mrs. Thomas' letter to Pryor was prompted by a one page letter she received one month earlier from Gen. Reuben L. Walker, also included in this lot. Walker sent his letter from the headquarters of the 3rd Artillery Corps, Army of Northern Virginia, on December 13, 1864, saying: "My friend . . . Roger A. Pryor is a prisoner of war at Fort La Fayette. Any kindness you may be allowed to extend to him will be most gratefuly [sic] remember [sic] by my cousin his distressed wife and highly appreciated by myself."
Pryor (1828-1919), a former congressman from Virginia, served in the first Confederate Congress and joined the 3rd Virginia Cavalry as a colonel. He was promoted to brigadier general, but after an unsuccessful career as a field commander during First Manassas, the Seven Days' Battles, and Antietam, he resigned his commission, reenlisting several months later as a private and scout in the Virginia Cavalry. He was captured in November 1864 and imprisoned in Fort Lafayette. He was released from prison on President Lincoln's order shortly before the end of the war.
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