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    Thomas L. Snead Archive. Two manuscripts with related papers and letters by soldier, politician, and author Thomas Snead. Most notably in the lot is a handwritten manuscript (approximately 325 pages) of his published history, The Fight for Missouri. Also present are more than 20 letters from Franz Sigel, Sterling Price, Senator James F. Edwards, and others. Together with poem by Snead, an inscribed imprint from John A. Tyler, Jr., and more.

    Thomas Lowndes Snead was born on January 10, 1828, in Henrico County, Virginia. Prior to the Civil War, he moved to St. Louis, Missouri and worked as the editor of the St. Louis Bulletin. In 1861, he served as an aide de camp to Confederate Governor Claiborne Fox Jackson, and was soon commissioned an officer in the Missouri State Guard. He participated at the Battles of Boonville, Wilson's Creek, Carthage, and Lexington, and later served under General Sterling Price of the Army of the West as his chief of staff. Snead became more interested in politics than warfare, and left the army to pursue a seat in the Second Confederate Congress in May of 1864. Following the war, Snead returned to writing and had his work, The Fight for Missouri published by Charles Scriber's Sons in 1886. The book was meant to be the first in a series about the trans-Mississippi theater during the Civil War, but Snead died unexpectedly in 1890, at the age of 62.

    Snead's published work, The Fight for Missouri, came about due to Snead's political position as aid-de-camp to Governor Jackson. By being at the heart of the Missouri government, Snead was privy to the political scene and witnessed many of the key events that shaped Missouri at the beginning of the Civil War. His book focused on the fight for Missouri at the start of the war, examines the timeline from the election of Lincoln as President through to the Battle of Wilson's Creek and General Nathaniel Lyon's death. The manuscript present is extensive, but is likely not complete.

    The following are excerpts taken from the handwritten manuscript of The Fight for Missouri:

    Taken from Chapter II, p.19: "It soon became apparent that the North would never make the concessions which the President had recommended; and consequently, John J. Crittenden of Kentucky submitted to the Senate a proposition, which became known as the Crittenden Compromise. It differed from the President's chiefly in this - that instead of making it the express constitutional duty of Congress to protect slavery in all the Territories, it proposed to reestablish the Missouri Compromise...and to make it the duty of Congress to protect slavery in all the Territories South of 36° 30' of N latitude, while slavery should be prohibited in all the Territories North of that line."

    Taken from Chapter II, p.20: "As the Supreme Court of the United States had decided in the Dred Scott case that slaves might be held in all the Territories, the people of the South felt that, in accepting the Crittenden Compromise, the people of the South felt that, in accepting the Crittenden Compromise, they were making a great concession to the anti-slavery sentiment of the North; but all of the Southern States, except South Carolina, seemed ready to make this concession, provided the slavery question could be thereby finally settled."

    Labeled V.12: "The St. Louis Secessionists on their part, were not inactive. There were but few of them it is true; but most of them were young and ardent, & full of zeal. They were sorry that the Cotton States were seceding; but they believed that those states had sufficient cause to withdraw from the Union; and that they would secede, and form a Southern Confederacy; & that war between this Confederacy & the Union would surely follow; and in this war they were resolved to fight with & for the South. They had therefore begun to prepare for war immediately after the Secession of South Carolina. It was not, however, until the appearance of Lt. Robinson & his men that they received many accessions to their ranks. The most notable of them was Basil W. Duke."

    An Excerpt concerning General Lyon's Death: "He had almost reached the advanced section of Tatter's Battery, & was walking along, bridle in hand, when his horse was killed, & himself wounded in the leg and head. Stunned and dazed by the blow & his soul cast down by the shock, he turned to the rear, and said in a confused way, 'I fear that the day is lost.' But coming quickly to his senses, he mounted a horse, that Sturgis offered to him, and swinging his hat in the air called on his men to follow...In a few moments Mitchell fell severely wounded, & almost at the same instant a fatal ball pierced Lyon's heart, and he was borne to the rear a corpse. His death was kept secret from his men, and meanwhile the battle went on...Gen. Price...his first act was to direct me to identify Lyon's body and deliver it to the bearers of the flag of truce. It had been taken to the rear of the Federal line of battle, and placed under the shade of a large tree; and there it lay in the Captain's uniform which he had worn when, just two months before, at the Planter's House Conference in St. Louis, trusting to his strength & to the justice of his cause, he had bidden defiance to the Governor of the State, & to the Major General of her forces, and had in their presence he declared war against Missouri, and against all who should dare to take up arms in her defense. Since that day he had done many memorable deeds, and had deserved the gratitude of all those who believe that the Union of these States is the chiefest of political blessings, and that they gave their lives to save it ought to be borne in grateful remembrance. The body was delivered with the respect and courtesy which were due to a brave soldier & to the commander of an army to the men that had come for it, and they bore it away to Springfield."

    Snead's book was met with moderate success, and the author received numerous letters of congratulations, which are included in this archive. Although many simply state their well wishes, some letters reflect the anxiety and ego of those who appeared in the book, as was the case with Major General Franz Sigel. The veteran Union officer wrote to Snead, inquiring over the reception of the book. One page, double-sided, 5" x 8", dated May 4, 1886: "Dear Colonel: Will you kindly send me the names of the papers containing notices of your book: 'The Fight for Missouri,' as I have no doubt that some notices and criticisms have appeared and I should like to see in what light others look upon your work. F. Sigel. I have seen the notice in the N.Y. Tribune and preserved it. FS."

    After receiving the notices from the papers, Sigel wrote again on the 6th, saying, "Dear Colonel, I am in receipt of your letter and enclosure and am very much pleased to see, that your book finds the acknowledgement, consideration & praise which it deserves. In asking you for some information about noticed in the papers, I was prompted to do so by the fact, so well known to you, that many things were said and written about myself, which I consider [illegible] willful misinterpretations; and as I desire nothing but 'fair play', I was naturally interested to know, whether, in the notices of your book, advantage was taken of your remarks in regard to the engagements of Carthage and Wilson's Creek, about which I wrote to you. Of course, your description was made in good faith and on the basis of my own reports, those of others of the northern army, but my letter relative to these affairs has explained certain points, not previously well understood. Now, if you could advise me of any notices published, that demand my attention from a personal standpoint, I would be thankful to you by naming them. Very truly yours, F. Sigel."

    Another letter worth noting in this archive is a letter from General Sterling Price, dated just a few month's before the general passed away. Three pages of a bifolium, 4.75" x 7.5", St. Louis, February 5, 1867: "As I came through New Orleans Gen. Maury handed me your letter to him of 27th Decr. Last, it afforded me much pleasure to hear from you even through a letter to another; I have anxiously looked for one from you to myself, but up to this time I have been disappointed. I hope to have better luck soon. I have been very kindly recd. by my friends in this city and by many a battlefield; yet I am informed that my arrival in St. Louis caused quite a fluttering among the Radicals at Jefferson City. They declared that I must be arrested, but I am told that that feeling has died away, it may be so. I expect to settle in St. Louis & not even visit the country for the present I have not seen Mrs. Snead but Dear little Minnie came to see me a few days since and seemed to be as glad to see me as she could be. I have been confined to the house the greater portion of the time since my arrival with [illegible] and night sweats which I have found very debilitating. I have some very valuable papers which I have kept in my trunk, I did not think of them when Celsus left me in Mexico how shall I get them to you..." No doubt, Price is offering research materials for Snead's use in writing his book.

    Snead also gained the honor of receiving an inscribed magazine, The Magazine American History with Notes and Queries June 1882, from President John Tyler's son. John Tyler Jr. signed the following: "To Major Thomas L. Snead. Commanding the article on the annexation of Texas, prepared by my half Brother, with my assistance as the Literary Executor of our Father and his private Secretary while President. This is the initial paper giving to the public in a series the truth, for the first time told as to the measures of the administration of President Tyler. John Tyler, Jr."

    The group also includes 3 notebooks filled with ideas and reading lists of books; and a second manuscript (approximately 250 pages) on the topic of early Greco-Roman and European history; as far as we are able to tell, this work was never published.

    Condition: The two manuscripts are in good condition, with some uneven creasing, toning and soiling throughout. Other examples of writing range from good to fine, with paper loss and areas of soiling.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2018
    18th Wednesday
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