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191   Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson  $1000 $3146 $3461 9 You must login to place a bid.
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#191 - Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson Estimate: $5,000+

Strategic letter from the start of Stonewall's triumphant Valley Campaign: "Avoid bringing in a general engagement with Banks’ present force, unless he attempts to cross the Blue Ridge where you can meet him in a strong position"

Civil War-dated ALS signed “T. J. Jackson,” one page both sides, 5.75 x 7, May 8, 1862. Letter to Maj. Gen. Richard S. Ewell, written at "5:10 A.M." In full: "General, If the enemy are in the vicinity of New Market, I hope that he will remain there. All that I desire you to do is to keep near enough to [Nathaniel] Banks to let him know that if he goes down the Valley you will follow him, and that you are all the time in striking distance of him. I can only give general instructions. You must conform to circumstances, but try to avoid bringing in a general engagement with Banks’ present force, unless he attempts to cross the Blue Ridge where you can meet him in a strong position. So far the enemy has abandoned the greater part of his baggage, about enough for a regiment. Genl. [Edward] Johnson had a skirmish yesterday, killed and wounded several & took two prisoners. One of them states that [Robert H.] Milroy has about 6000, and that Shenk [Robert Schenck] is about a days march from here with 6000 more. Johnson is on the top of the Shenandoah, 38 miles from Staunton. We were West of the Mountain yesterday evening, but the enemy opened upon us with art'y and prevented our encamping there as I desired. Consequently I fell back to a more secure position. This morning we move forward, and I pray that God will bless us with success. So long as Banks remains at New Market it would not be prudent for you to advance on him via Harrisonburg. Should he abandon Columbia bridge I hope that you will place a guard there." Includes the original transmittal envelope. In very good condition, with overall rippling, light staining, and fading which does not affecting readability; Jackson's signature was penned as he was running out of room, and is small and somewhat difficult to discern at the extreme bottom of the second page. Accompanied by a handsome custom-made presentation folder with a quarter leather binding.

In the spring of 1862, Stonewall Jackson and his men were ordered to defend the Shenandoah Valley. They had a dual goal: to defeat the threat of Nathaniel P. Banks’s army, and to prevent Irvin McDowell’s reinforcements from joining George McClellan’s forces on the peninsula. Jackson wrote this remarkable tactical letter in the early morning of May 8, 1862, hours before his victory over Robert H. Milroy and Robert C. Schenck at the Battle of McDowell. Contrary to the intelligence discussed here, Milroy and Schenck had a combined force of about 6,500, to Jackson’s 6,000 men. Despite suffering initial losses in a surprise attack, Jackson held his position and forced Milroy and Schenck to retreat. Although Jackson’s men were consistently outnumbered, they were enormously successful throughout the Valley Campaign: the Battle of McDowell marked Jackson’s first victory in the Valley, and he rode its momentum to victories against Nathaniel Banks at Front Royal (May 23rd) and First Winchester (May 25th). In the span of 48 days, Jackson’s army secured five major victories; with these frequent triumphs, he became the most celebrated soldier in the Confederacy.

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