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    Confederate recruitment handbill targeting immigrant Union draftees

    Confederate Propaganda Handbill and Letter from Union Soldier That Received It. Single sheet, 3.75" x 5.5", with the heading of the Adjutant & Inspector General's Office, Richmond, Virginia; August 15, 1864. General Orders No. 65 issued by Samuel Cooper, the handbill aims to specifically recruit newly arrived immigrants who were drafted, either to join the Southern cause or simply desert the Union Army. In part: "It having been represented to the War Department that there are numbers of foreigners entrapped by artifice and fraud into the military and naval service of the United States, who would gladly withdraw from further participation in the inhuman warfare waged against a people who have never given them a pretext for hostility... it is ordered that all such persons, coming within the lines of the Confederate armies, shall be received, protected and supplied with means of subsistence, until such of them as desire it can be forwarded to the most convenient points on the border, where all facilities will be afforded them to return to their homes."

    On the verso is a note written in pencil by a Union soldier the following: "The rebs gave me this when I swim the James river at dutch gap to exchange papers with them. D."

    The handbill is accompanied by a letter from the Union Soldier who wrote the note and signs his letter "David". The letter is two pages (of a bifolium), 4.5" x 7.25", and is written from Fort Cummings, [Virginia] on December 11, 1864. "David" is writing to his brother William concerning his recent recovery from illness and his current location. David was a soldier in Company B, 1st Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery. In part:
    "...I have had the fever and ague for three months and have been over but a short time. I am working for the Company now. We have been relieved from Dutch gap and are garrisoning a fort at Broadway Landing... I wish you would send me a gallon of Bourbon whiskey and I will send the money about the middle of Jan. If you send it bind the box with hoop iron and direct it to City Point, VA."

    The 1st Connecticut Volunteer Heavy Artillery was organized in Washington, D.C., from the 4th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry and mustered in on January 2, 1862. The regiment participated in siege operations against Petersburg and Richmond from May 1864 to April 1865, which included occupation of Dutch Gap on the James River. In late 1864, Union troops began the construction of a larger canal at Dutch Gap, but the canal was not completed until after the war.

    Condition: The handbill is near fine; the handwritten note on verso is written in pencil, with a light hand, but remains legible. The letter is in fine condition, with only the usual mail folds.


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    Auction Dates
    May, 2017
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
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