Historical Civil War Autographs


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Civil War - Union

81 Items.  Showing Items 1 thru 20.
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BARTON, CLARA (1821-1912)

# 6585

American Civil War Nurse; Founder of the American Red Cross

Barton's work in providing medicine and supplies to the wounded on the Civil War front lines earned her the sobriquet "The Angel of the Battlefield.” She went on to found the American Red Cross.

Autograph Letter Signed, 4” x 6 ¼”, undated, responding to an autograph request.

“My dear Mrs. Perkins, I regret that your very small request has been obliged to wait so long for a response, but it affords me great pleasure to be able to comply even at this late date. I write you from my summer resort at 1000 Islands, - & am, Very Sincerely, Clara Barton.”

A fine example in excellent condition.



# 7741

Union Brigadier General – Iowa; U.S. Secretary of War – 1869-76

An Iowa legislator before the Civil War, Belknap entered Union service with the 15th Iowa Infantry, seeing action in the West from Shiloh through Sherman’s “March to the Sea” and Bentonville. He became U.S. Secretary of War in the cabinet of President Ulysses S. Grant in 1869, but was impeached and forced to resign for taking bribes in 1876.

Signature, as U.S. War Secretary, with the date also in Belknap’s hand, on an imprinted 5” x 7” sheet of official War Department stationery.

“March 29th 1870, Wm. W. Belknap, Sec[retar]y of War.”

The sheet is lightly and evenly toned, with breaks in the paper along several folds.



# 6940

U.S. Postmaster General - 1861-64; Brother of Francis P. Blair, Jr.; Mayor of St. Louis – 1842-43; Counsel for Dred Scott before the U.S. Supreme Court

War-Date Signed Envelope, 3 ¼” x 6”, free-franked as U.S. Postmaster General under President Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War, “M. Blair, P.M.G.” The envelope is also addressed by Blair, to “Col[onel] F.A. Dick, St. Louis, Mo.,” and is postmarked “Washington, D.C., May 8, 1863.”

The envelope is lightly toned, with minor wear and a few superficial tears at the edges, along with several small stains.


BRICE, BENJAMIN W. (1806-92)

# 7220

Union Brevet Brigadier General; Union Colonel & Paymaster General

Signature, in violet ink, with closing and rank, “Very respectfully & c., B.W. Brice, B[rigadier] Gen[eral] Ret[ire]d,”,” on a 1 ½” x 4” slip of paper, removed from a letter; with a second portion of the same handwritten letter, dated Baltimore, Maryland, May 1, 1876.



# 6808

Union Brigadier General – Massachusetts

While leading the 10th Massachusetts under McClellan on the Peninsula, Briggs was severely wounded in both thighs at Seven Pines. He briefly returned to active service, to command a brigade in the Middle Department and a division in the Army of the Potomac.

Briggs Writes to His Wife After “the late bloody battle of Gettysburg.”

War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, four pages, on a 5” x 8” letter-sheet, signed “your Husband,” incorporating his signature into his wife’s address, “Mrs. H.S. Briggs, Pittsfield, Mass[achusetts],” at the conclusion. Assigned to lead an Eighth Corps brigade in the Army of the Potomac, Briggs relates the rigors sustained by the troops in his command. Many of them were Massachusetts Volunteers approaching the end of their nine-month terms of service – diverted and quick-marched to guard Union-held territory near Harpers Ferry during the retreat of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia after “the late bloody battle of Gettysburg.”

“In camp near Hamilton or ‘Harmony Church,’ Loudon Co[unty], V[irgini]a, Sunday Evening, July 19, 1863.

Dear Molly,

I have been thinking ever since we got into camp about 11 o’clock this forenoon that I must write; but it has been so hot and I have been so sleepy that I have not got to it till now (past 9 o’c[lock] eve) and that is time to turn in for…as early as 4 o’c[lock] in the morning to march.

This has been the hottest day we have had, and the men could hardly have endured a long march. We left camp near Waterford this morning at about 7 o’c[lock] and halted here as I said a little before 11 o’c[lock]. We are bivouacked in a fine wood, the first shade of any account we have had in our encampment. I last wrote you at camp near Buckittsville on Thursday I believe (or Friday, it is very difficult for me to keep the days of the week). We were ordered to march from there at 4 o’c[lock] yesterday morning but didn’t get off till about 6, then marched to Waterford which we reached about 2 o’c[lock] and had plenty of time to get into camp and rest before night. We crossed the Potomac yesterday morning by a pontoon bridge about 8 o’c[lock] at Berlin, where we left the 46[th] Mass[achusetts] Col[onel] [William S.] Shurtleff to go home its time having nearly expired. That leaves me with only the 8th [Massachusetts] whose time expires on the 30th inst[ant] and the 39th [Massachusetts] about a thousand men in all; But that is a large Brigade in this Corps so reduced has it become by the casualties of a long term, the most ever of all which was the late bloody battle of Gettysburg. A Vermont Brig[age] left the Div[ision] yesterday also nine month troops.

Which way we go from here I know nothing of nor what is going on about us. It was supposed this morning that we were going to Leesburg [Virginia] from which we were about 7 miles to the north. We are now about the same distance west, and about mid-way between or opposite Gregors and Snickers Gaps in the Blue Ridge. I keep remarkably well altho[ugh] we all feel our broken sleep. Our orders to march almost invariably come after midnight here since there is not much sleep for us after that.

Dear Molly I have thought a great deal of you all to day, both on the march and since arrival in camp. I can think of you with better heart than when I first joined this army a week ago tho[ugh] not less tenderly and graciously. I am not so homesick and have come to accept my position as a necessity and duty. I am not altogether agreeably situated here; but I am content for the present in the belief that there will be some change soon as my command will be broken up by the departure of the 8th [Massachusetts] a week hence.

It is now a fortnight since the date of your and George’s last letter. I do not allow myself to be anxious about you, trusting the Father of Mercies and of us all to keep you. Our mails are not often sent, since I suppose it is hardly known at Washington what my address is. I shall hope now to hear from you after the receipt of my letter from Funkstown dated a week ago tomorrow.

Our mail boy was sent to H[ea]d Qu[arter]s tonight but returned with the message that probably there would be no mail sent for two or three days.

I must turn in. So good night with lots of love to all. Affectionately your Husband. Mrs. H.S. Briggs, Pittsfield, Mass[achusetts].”

Overall condition is excellent, with the usual light toning and two horizontal folds.



# 6699

Union Major General - Ohio

Buell was instrumental in the Federal victories at Ft. Donelson and Shiloh, where his arrival late in the first day saved Grant from the Confederate attack. He was replaced by Rosecrans due to his hesitance in the pursuit of Bragg after the October 1862 battle of Perryville.

Signature, “D.C. Buell, Airdrie, Dec[ember] 28, 1886,” on a 2 ¼” x 4” slip of paper.

Lightly and evenly toned, with mounting remnants on the reverse.



# 6960

Union Major General – Massachusetts; Republican U.S. Congressman – Massachusetts – 1867-75 & 1877-79; U.S. Presidential Candidate – Greenback Party - 1884

Known as “Beast Butler” for his harsh treatment of civilians in New Orleans, Butler had, ironically, nominated Jefferson Davis for the presidency on the 1860 Democratic ticket.

War-Date Signature, “Yours truly, Benj. F. Butler, Maj. Genl. Com[manding],” on a 2 ½” x 4 ¾” slip of paper.

Lightly and evenly toned, with a horizontal fold, along with minor bleeding of ink in portions of Butler’s rank.


CAMERON, SIMON (1799-1889)

# 6941

U.S. Secretary of War - 1861-62

As a contender for the Republican nomination for the presidency in 1860, Cameron threw his support to Lincoln when promised a cabinet seat. His brief tenure as Secretary of War was so marked by corruption that he was forced to resign in 1862.

Signature, “Simon Cameron,” on a 1 ½” x 4” slip of paper.

Lightly and evenly toned, with a small tear at the upper edge, well away from the signature.


NewCAMERON, SIMON (1799-1889)

# 7846

U.S. Secretary of War – 1861-62, during the American Civil War; U.S. Senator – Pennsylvania – 1845-49, 1857-61 & 1867-77

Autograph Letter Signed, 7 ¾” x 9 ¾”. In this early letter, Cameron recommends a Dr. Charles Moswell for appointment as assistant surgeon in the U.S. Navy to Navy Secretary Mahlon Dickerson.

                                                                                                                                               Middleton, Penn[sylvani]a
                                                                                                                                                           Aug[ust] 11, 1835.


I have been requested by Mr. Jno. C. Boyd, a highly respectable citizen of North county, to write you in behalf of Dr. Chas. D. Moswell, who is an applicant for the situation [of] Assistant Surgeon in the Navy. I have not the pleasure of a personal acquaintance with Mr. Moswell, but from the character of his connections in the State, and the representations of Mr. Boyd, I feel confident that the appointment would be a good one, and I should be much gratified if he could succeed.

                                                                                                                                                Very respectfully,
                                                                                                                                                           Simon Cameron

The integral leaf is also addressed by Cameron, to “Hon[orable] M. Dickerson, Secretary Navy, Washington C[i]ty, D.C.” In very good condition overall, the letter has somewhat heavier toning at the right edge, numerous tiny ink stains, a few nicks at the edges, and the usual folds.


NewCANBY, EDWARD R.S. (1817-73)

# 7817

Union Major General

A veteran of the Mexican and Second Seminole Wars, Canby served in New Mexico in opposition to Confederate General Henry H. Sibley during the American Civil War. Subsequently transferred east, he took command of the Military Division of West Mississippi and was involved in the late-war actions at Mobile, Alabama. In 1873, he was killed by Modoc Indians in California.

Document Signed, an endorsement on the reverse of an imprinted 9 ¾” x 16 ¼” U.S. Army form, “Examined & approved, Ed. R.S. Canby, M[ajor] G[eneral] Com[mandin]g,” approving expenditures for the month of November 1867.

The document is in excellent overall condition, with the expected folds.

Price: $195.00

CARR, JOSEPH B. (1828-95)

# 6961

Union Brigadier General - New York

A colonel of New York militia when the Civil War broke out, Carr led the 2nd New York Infantry at Big Bethel, commanded a brigade at the Peninsula and Second Manassas, and saw action at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. Afterward, he was assigned command of a division of Black troops in Benjamin Butler’s Army of the James, the unit serving in the Union defenses on the York and James Rivers.

Signed Card, with rank, "J.B. Carr, B[revet] Major Genl. U.S. V[olunteers].”



# 7037

Union Brigadier General – Maine; Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for Gettysburg

As colonel of the 20th Maine, Chamberlain gallantly defended Little Round Top, preventing a Confederate victory at Gettysburg.

Document Signed, 9 ¼” x 11 ½”, January 27, 1892, “Joshua L. Chamberlain,” as President of the Ocala and Silver Springs Company, a partly printed stock certificate for five shares to one James E. Simpson.  Countersigned by the company treasurer.

Illustrated in two views due to scanner limitations, the document is pleasantly age-toned, with several folds and light creases.



# 7036

Union Brigadier General – Maine; Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for Gettysburg

As colonel of the 20th Maine, Chamberlain gallantly defended Little Round Top, preventing a Confederate victory at Gettysburg.

Civil War-Date Signature, a seldom-seen example with sentiment and the rank Chamberlain held from June 18, 1864 through the end of the war, on a 1 ¾” x 5” slip of lined paper. Chamberlain was brevetted major general of volunteers on March 29, 1865.

“Very respectfully, Your ob[e]d[ien]t Serv[an]t, J.L. Chamberlain, Brig. Genl. Com[man]d[in]g.”

The slip is lightly toned, with some show-through of old glue staining on the reverse, and there is a small hole above the “Com” in Chamberlain’s rank; illustrated against a black background for added clarity.


CHASE, SALMON P. (1808-73)

# 6942

U.S. Treasury Secretary - 1861-64; U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice - 1864-73

As Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary, Chase was instrumental in the efforts to finance the war, and was responsible for the issue and acceptance of paper money as legal tender. Continued rivalry and strife with Lincoln precipitated his appointment to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Roger B. Taney in 1864.

Inscribed Signature, as antebellum Governor of Ohio, “For Geo[rge] M. Fowler, Esq[uire]. I have the honor to be Very respectfully Yours & c., S.P. Chase, Columbus, Ap[ri]l 24, 1857,” on a 5” x 7” sheet of embossed stationery. A period engraved image, cut into an oval shape, has been affixed to the upper right corner.

The sheet has light soiling and wear, along with the expected folds.


CHASE, SALMON P. (1808-73)

# 7045

U.S. Treasury Secretary - 1861-64; U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice - 1864-73

As Lincoln’s Treasury Secretary, Chase was instrumental in the efforts to finance the war and was responsible for the issue and acceptance of paper money as legal tender. Continued rivalry and strife with Lincoln precipitated his appointment to fill the Supreme Court vacancy created by the death of Roger B. Taney in 1864.

War-Date Signature, with closing and title in another hand, “S.P. Chase,” on a 1 ½” x 4” slip of paper, removed from a letter as U.S. Treasury Secretary, the position Chase held from March 4, 1861 through December 6, 1864; with the pencil notation, “1862” in the lower margin.



# 7840

Union Major General – Kentucky

Though from an aristocratic, slave-holding Kentucky family, Clay established an antislavery newspaper, The True American, in Lexington, Kentucky in 1845. A Mexican War veteran and prominent Republican Party figure, he declined a general’s appointment due to Lincoln’s refusal to abolish slavery in the early Civil War years. Appointed by Lincoln, Clay served as U.S. Minister to Russia, 1861-62 and 1863-69.

Autograph Quotation Signed, with desirable full signature on a 3 ¼” x 4 ¼” slip of blue paper, imprinted “The Lincoln Collection of Autographs. Started by Mr. Lincoln in 1863. JOHN SPARHAWK WURTS, PHILADELPHIA,” in the upper left corner, including Clay’s handwritten attribution to the assassinated sixteenth president, Abraham Lincoln.

“White Hall, K[entuck]y, Au[gust] 5, 1897. ‘If Slavery is not wrong Nothing is wrong’ A.L. Cassius Marcellus Clay.”

Exceptional and flawless.


CORNING, ERASTUS (1794-1872)

# 5338

American Industrialist – New York Central Railroad Founder; Democratic U.S. Congressman – 1857-59 & 1861-63

Autograph Letter Signed, 5” x 8”, as U.S. Congressman from New York, responding to a request for the appointment of the former U.S. Minister to Ecuador, Van Brugh Livingston, from William W. Campbell, a prominent New York judge and former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and promising to pursue the matter directly to President James Buchanan.

“Washington, Dec. 18, 1858. W.W. Campbell, Esq., My dear Sir, I duly rec[eive]d your favor of the 25th ult[imo] requesting my aid in obtaining the appointment of Doct[or] Livingston as consul at La Union San Salvador. I have seen the Dep[ut]y Sec[retar]y of State who will advance to the President to make the appointment. I hope to see the President on Monday when I trust I shall be able to bring the matter to a point. Yours Very Respectfully, Erastus Corning.”

Several light folds and a light diagonal crease at lower left, well away from text.

Price: $275.00

CUSTER, ELIZABETH B. (1842-1933)

# 6784

Wife of 7th Cavalry Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer; Author of Numerous Books on Her Husband and the American West

Mrs. Custer Asks for an Application to Join the Daughters of the American Revolution

Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ½ pages, on two separate 5” x 6 ½” sheets. Well into her eighties, Mrs. Custer writes to obtain an application to join the Daughters of the American Revolution.

71 Park Avenue, N.Y., August 28 [1927]. Miss Blanche Edwards, My dear Miss Edwards, My cousin Mrs. Bingham has long wanted me to be a Daughter of the American Revolution and has been so good as to make it possible by searching records. I shall be glad to have the blanks for application when it is convenient for you to send them. Thanking you in advance I am very sincerely yours, Elizabeth B. Custer.”

Both sheets have a horizontal fold at the center and heavier toning along the edges. The accompanying transmittal envelope, 3 ½” x 5 ¼”, addressed by Mrs. Custer, to “Miss Blanche Edwards, Abiline, Kansas,” has general soiling and wear, along with a tear at the upper edge, near the August 29, 1927, Grand Central Station, New York postmark.



# 6943

U.S. Postmaster General – 1864-66; Governor of Ohio – 1860-62

Signed Card, 2” x 3 ¼”, “W. Dennison,” with the notation “Post Master General, Feb. 10th 1866in another hand beneath.

Lightly and evenly toned, with mounting traces on the reverse.


DEVIN, THOMAS C. (1822-78)

# 6963

Union Brigadier General – New York

Born in New York City to immigrant Irish parents, Devin served as colonel of the 6th New York Cavalry from the unit’s formation in late 1861 through the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. He led a cavalry brigade under Union General John Buford in the first day’s fighting at Gettysburg, and subsequently saw action in Kilpatrick’s raid on Richmond and with Sheridan in the Shenandoah.

War-Date Endorsement Signed, on a 2 ¼” x 3 ½” slip of paper, removed from a larger document.

“Head Q[uar]t[e]rs, 2nd Brig[ade] 1st Cav[alry] Division, Oct. 23, 1863. Approved & Respectfully forwarded. Thos. C. Devin, Col[onel] Com[man]d[in]g Brig[ade].”

81 Items.  Showing Items 1 thru 20.
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