Lee's 'General Orders' manuscript brings $59,500 to RR Auction



2015-06-26 13:22:44

Lee's 'General Orders' manuscript brings $59,500 to RR Auction

A war-dated manuscript of Robert E Lee's General Orders No. 59 celebrates his greatest victory

The historic manuscript of Robert E Lee's General Orders No. 59 has sold as the top lot in RR Auction's latest online sale, which closed yesterday (July 25).

Robert E Lee General Orders No 59 The Confederate Army did not issue medals, believing all its soldiers to be heroes, so having your name mentioned in one of the general orders was a great honour

The manuscript, signed by the Confederate general and with several annotations in his hand, made an impressive $59,628 to lead the sale.

General Orders No. 59 was issued by Lee on May 7, 1863, the day after the Confederate Army's victory in the week-long Battle of Chancellorsville, which is considered Lee's greatest victory.He is remembered for his near-perfect battlefield decisions, which kept the larger Union Army at bay throughout the battle.

The manuscript reads in part: "With heartfelt gratification the General Commanding expresses to the army his sense of the heroic conduct displayed by officers and men during the arduous operations in which they have just been engaged."

Lee has added the words "again" and "fifteen miles distant" to the manuscript, all of which feature in the final printed version published in Harpers Weekly on May 23, 1863.

He also references his comrade Stonewall Jackson, who was wounded by friendly fire in the battle. Lee laments"the absence for a time of one to whose bravery, energy, and skill they are so much indebted for success."

Jackson died from his injuries on May 10.

In 2007, a copy of Robert E Lee's terms of surrender addressed to Ulysses S Grant sold for an outstanding $537,750 at Heritage Auctions.

William T Sherman shoulder straps The Battle of Shiloh looked set to be a Confederate victory, but the Union Army triumphed on the second day

Also selling well yesterday were a pair of shoulder straps that were gifted to Colonel David Stuart by Union general William T Sherman, one of which was worn at the Battle of Shiloh in 1862. Complete with a hand-written letter from the general, they sold for $49,279.

See our superb collection of militaria for sale.

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