Lot 516: Civil War–dated ALS signed "Jeffer. Davis," one page both sides, 8.5 x 4, The Southern Telegraph Companies letterhead, July 5, 1864. Letter to Governor Joseph E. Brown of Georgia regarding troop dispositions and strengths. In full: "Your telegram of yesterday received. I am surprised to learn from you that the basis of the comparison I made on official reports and estimates is unreliable. Until your better knowledge is communicated I shall have no means of correcting such errors, and your dicta cannot control the disposition of troops in different parts of the Confederate States. Most men in your position would not assume to decide on the value of the service to be rendered by troops in distant positions. When you give me your reliable statement of the comparative strength of the armies, I will be glad also to know the source of your information as to what the whole country expects, and posterity will judge." In very good condition, with small edge separations to fragile intersecting folds, chipping to edges (affecting a couple words), and light toning. Accompanied by a cabinet photo of Davis bearing a secretarial signature. Originally purchased from Walter R. Benjamin Autographs and accompanied by the original paper folder. Provenance: The Everett Fisher Collection.
Governor Brown constantly butted heads with President Davis throughout the Civil War, calling him a dangerous tyrant. He used every opportunity to decry the mistakes of the central government in Richmond, and in this case had sent Davis a message condemning his decision to not send the cavalry after Sherman's forces. Despite Brown's prescient warning that failing to cut off Sherman's supply lines could result in the loss of Atlanta, Davis dashed off this enraged telegram in reply. A superb example revealing the disarray and dissension within the Confederate ranks as the Union Army progressed into the South.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs And Artifacts Auction 469
Wednesday, 10th February 2016
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