Lot 443: Confederate general (1820–1863) noted for his defeats at Pea Ridge and Corinth in 1862. Known as an impulsive, emotional womanizer, he was murdered by a civilian who claimed that Van Dorn had carried on an affair with his wife. Civil War–dated ADS, signed "Earl Van Dorn, Majr Gnl Army of Miss," one page, 7.75 x 9.75, March 12, 1861. Van Dorn's Special Orders No. 1, issued from the Head Quarters of the Army of Mississippi in Jackson. In part: "The chiefs of the different staff departments will…make lists of articles already ordered, or contracted for, with estimate of cost, and submit the same to the Major General. Upon these reports instructions will be given for the purchase of all other necessary supplies to arm and equip completely the Division…All the necessary blank forms will be at once printed and distributed to the different officers according to the Regulations adopted by the Military Board." Stray ink marks and blots affecting some of the writing, otherwise fine condition. When his homestate of Mississippi seceded on January 9, 1861—the second state to do so—van Dorn resigned his U.S. Army commission and joined the state's militia. He was quickly promoted to major general and commander of the state forces when Jefferson Davis was selected as the Confederate president in February, and immediately began organizing his troops. Four days after signing these orders, he resigned the position to join the newly established Confederate States Army with the rank of colonel; he was given command of their forces in Texas, arriving in Galveston in early April. An outstanding letter from the formative days of the Confederacy.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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