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    [Battle of Chickamauga]. Fantastic Letter From D. S. Donelson, 2nd Confederate Infantry, Describing the Battle of Chickamauga and His Brother's Death in the Battle. Four integral pages, 5" x 7.75", Newman, Georgia, October 10, 1863, to his father. The Battle of Chickamauga fought between September 19-20, 1863, involved the second highest casualty rate in the Civil War. Well over 30,000 casualties were suffered by the participants. D. S. Donelson shows up variously on the roster of the 2nd Confederate Infantry and the Tennessee 154th Infantry. His brother, Captain John S. Donelson was also in the Tennessee 154th Infantry. In this moving letter Donelson relates the details of his brother's death in the battle. It reads, in part:
    "I am now at this place having just returned from Bragg's Army near Chattanooga. Brother John was killed on the 19th a little after dark. The Brigade was advancing in line of Battle to near a position supposed to have been occupied by Genl Longstreet's command. Brother John was riding in front with Col. Vaughn when but a few steps before them a man raised from behind a bush. Col. V. asked to what command he belonged. He replied 77th Pennsylvania and fired. The ball taking effect on Brother John. He fell dead the ball having entered the left breast and pierced the heart. His company which was just behind him fired & killed the Yankee and the larger portion of the Reg't was captured. Genl Smith [Preston Smith] was also killed about the same time in another part of the line... His [John Donelson] loss is deeply mourned by his company... His sword, watch and trunk are now at this place...his remains are now in Mr. Edward Denmead's vault...he was dressed in the uniform he had on the battle field...". Donelson adds as a postscript: "Our loss was 1,000 killed and 15,000 wounded 1500 captured". The paper has toned and bears the usual old, smoothed fold creases, otherwise it is a remarkable and intimate look at the battle and personal cost to Donelson.


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    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
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