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    Description

    Cornelius Boyle Civil War Grouping. Eight documents, a signed carte de visite, and a Mathew Brady albumen of Robert E. Lee. A small archive related to the service of Cornelius Boyle in the Confederate Army during the Civil War.

    Cornelius Boyle was wealthy landowner with a thriving medical practice in the District of Columbia. Before the war, as tensions increased between the North and South, he founded a pro-Southern militia unit, known as the National Rifles. When he was questioned before a Congressional Committee (on February 1, 1861) concerning his and the group's loyalties, Boyle asserted that it was a social marching club. When war broke out, he set aside his professional practice and marched his volunteers to the state of Virginia, becoming a Major in the Confederate Army. He was made provost marshal and post commander at Gordonsville, a critical position due to the railroads. The key location allowed him to pass messages quickly to and from the Headquarters of the Army of Northern Virginia, and he became an important Confederate agent. General Robert E. Lee is reported to have said when it was suggested that Boyle be moved to another area, "Major Boyle was commissioned specifically for the service in which he is now engaged. I know of no one who can take his place."

    Boyle was part of numerous undercover operations and communications during the Civil War. It has even been suggested that he was aware of, or played a small role in Thomas R. Harney's attempt to bomb the White House and John Wilkes Booth's assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. After the war, Boyle's vast properties were seized by the government, and he was denied entry into the District. He did not receive his oath of amnesty until August 14, 1865, and it was not deposited with the Department of State until October 1867. In addition to the lot described below, lots 47016-47021 are also related to Boyle and his life during and after the Civil War.

    The group includes:

    Robert E. Lee Albumen by Mathew Brady. An oval albumen, 6" x 8", of Lee sitting on the porch of his house in Richmond shortly after the surrender. Housed in a period gilded frame, the albumen has surface damage in the lower area around Lee's left leg and the chair. There is a small tear at center left, and discoloration throughout. Period frame has chipping and cracking. This was Boyle's personal photograph.

    Cornelius Boyle Signed Carte de Visite. 2.5" x 4", with backstamp by T.W. Clark & Co. of Norfolk, Virginia. Signed by Boyle with rank on verso. Light soiling and foxing, spot of adhesive residue on verso.

    Jefferson Davis Autograph Letter Signed. One page, 7.75" x 9.75"; Washington; January 7, 1861. Davis writes to Boyle regarding a leave of absence for clerk in the Treasury Department. Davis was serving as senator from the Mississippi when he wrote this letter. Heavy wear along the folds, with long separations along the horizontal fold and two small tears. Integral leaf has been removed, leaving a rough edge and small chip at left. Light soiling, especially along folds on verso.

    Cornelius Boyle Retained Draft of a letter to the Confederate Secretary of War George Randolph. One page, 8" x 9.75"; Head Quarters, Gordonsville; August 2, 1862. A letter requesting a transfer and promotion from his current post s Provost Marshal. With copies of endorsements from Stonewall Jackson, A.P. Hill, and Richard Ewell (in Boyles' hand) on verso. Boyle's request was denied, as his role at Gordonsville was deemed too valuable. Flattened folds, with light foxing.

    Edwin M. Stanton Autograph Pass Signed on a War Department Card, 5.5" x 3.5"; April 15, 1863. A pass issued to "William E. Stubbs from Washington to his own residence at Avon 11 miles from Washington... Edwin M. Stanton." Light toning and soiling.

    Manuscript General Orders No. 27. Three pages of a bifolium, 5.5" x 8.75"; "Headquarters of SC Ga. & Fla. Charleston S C Febry 16th 63." Special orders issued by command of General P.T. Beauregard outlining procedures related to hospitals and medical staff. Moderate wear, with multiple separations at folds. Filing docket on verso.

    Amnesty Oath Signed by Cornelius Boyle. Partly printed sheet, 8" x 4.75", August 14, 1865. Heavy wear and ink stains, with separations at folds and bits of paper loss where folds intersect.

    Parole Issued to Cornelius Boyle. Partly printed page, 8" x 3.5", Gordonsville, May 19, 1865. Multiple folds with some wear.

    With two additional letters to Boyle from his land agents circa 1861, a thank you letter addressed to the officers of the Jackson Association dated September 30, 1860, and eight modern souvenir printings of the Confederate seal.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2017
    19th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 1,043

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