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438   Isaac M. St. John  $200 $1367 $1504 10 You must login to place a bid.
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#438 - Isaac M. St. John

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Detailed account of the days leading up to Appomattox

Engineer and Confederate officer (1827–1880). LS signed “I. M. St. John, late Com. Genl. C. S. A.,” two pages, lightly-lined, 8.25 x 13.75, February 9, 1877. Transcript of a September 1865 letter to him from Thomas G. Williams. In part: “On the 1st April 1865 the Subsistence Bureau of the Confederate states, had available for the Army of N. Va. at Richmond 300,000 Rations Bread & Meat, Danville 500,000 Bread, Danville 1500,000 [sic] Meat, Lynchburg 180,000 Bread & Meat, Greensboro N.C. and the vicinity of Danville. There was in addition not less than 1,500,000 Rations of Bread & Meat…These supplies were held ready for distribution upon the requisition of the Chief Commissary of Genl Lee’s Army. No requisitions were then on hand unsupplied. On the evening of 2 April 1865, the Chief Commissary of Genl Lee’s Army was asked by telegram what should be done with the stores in Richmond. No reply was received until night. He then suggested that if Richmond was not safe, they might be sent up on the R. and Danville R Road, as the Evacuation of Richmond was then actively progressing…On the morning of April 6th, the Secty of War, accompanied by the Q. M. Genl., Chf of Engr Dept, and the undersigned met Genl Lee…In reply to the question of the Commg Genl—‘where shall be placed this army’…Genl Lee said in substance ‘I can not now name the place’…On the morning of April 8th, these rations were either captured at Pamphlins Station, or burned on the track to avoid capture.” In fine condition. This letter provides a strong response to St. John’s critics, who believed that the commissary had failed in its duty to feed the army; the main problem—in his opinion—was in fact Lee’s inability to provide a location. An interesting, lengthy description of some of the problems and miscommunications that the Confederacy faced in its final week. Pre-certified PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.

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