Lot 360: Fabled Confederate general (1833–1864) best known for his consummate skill in reconnaissance and as a cavalry officer. After leading successful offensive actions during the Northern Virginia Campaign—as well as a 'late,' disastrous showing at Gettysburg, which led to a personal rebuke by Lee—Stuart was killed during the Overland Campaign at the age of 31. LS, one page both sides, 7.75 x 10, April 16, 1863. Letter to the Hon. Muscoe Russell Hunter Garnett, a Virginia Representative to the Confederate States Congress, concerning pending legislation regarding the cavalry and the care of horses, in full: "I understand from Brig. General W. H. F. Lee that you have signified a desire to aid in any legislation needed for the Cavalry service—if we would state succinctly what is wanted. Availing myself of your kind offer I submit the following through his kindness for your consideration. I. An act providing for remuneration for Cavalry horses permanently disabled by wounds or rendered permanently unserviceable by accident received when the owner is in the immediate execution of an order—or unavoidably captured by the enemy. The question to be determined by a board to be composed of 3 officers of the Regiment to be designated by the Colonel as the 'disabled horse board' or upon the order of a General officer. II. The extension of the law, authorizing military courts, to each Army Corps or Department, so as to include a Division of Cavalry attached to a grand army—as absolutely necessary to ensure speedy trial and justice, and preserve discipline. (See copy of urgent letter on this subject to Gen. R. E. Lee, April 9th, 1863). III. A Veterinary Surgeon to each Brigade of Cavalry, to be selected and appointed after thorough examination into his qualifications, with the rank of Major. The amount of saving in horse flesh to the Confederacy by a competent Veterinary Surgeon to each Brigade would be incredible. I assure you that no greater service could be rendered the cavalry of the Provisional Army than the passage of such laws as embrace the foregoing." In very good condition, with small edge separations at folds, mild soiling, near-complete separation to adjoining fold of blank second integral sheet, and overall writing light but legible; Stuart's signature is strong and bold.A resolution concerning provisions for veterinary surgeons for the cavalry had already been introduced in the Confederate Congress on April 4, 1863, but the Congress went into recess on May 1 before addressing the subject. When reassembled in December, it said once again that the Committee on Military Affairs would inquire into the expediency of providing for the appointment of a veterinary surgeon to each brigade of cavalry. It would appear that the issue died in committee as no mention of further action on the matter was recorded. Due to increasing manpower shortages as the war dragged on, it is likely that it proved impossible to find qualified personnel to fill the positions. Given Stuart's renowned horsemanship as a cavalry officer, this rare war-dated letter boasts superior content of the highest desirability.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466
Wednesday, 9th December 2015
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