War-dated endorsements of Thomas J. ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, A. P. Hill, James H. Lane, Norman R. Fitz Hugh, and R. H. Chilton on the reverse of an ALS from Colonel William Barbour to General A. P. Hill, one lightly-lined page, 7.5 x 10, dated November 3, 1862. The letter reads, in full: “It has been certified to me that Martin V. Moore, of the 1st N. Carolina Cavalry commanded by Col. Baker, Hampton’s Brigade, Stuart’s Division, has been duly elected 2nd Lt. in Co. E 37th Regt., N. C. Troops, vice Lt. Bingham resigned. You will greatly oblige by forwarding this certificate of election through official channels, that he may obtain the necessary authority to report for duty to my command. I do not know where to direct any communication & take this method of informing him of this election.”
The panels on the reverse bear five endorsements, two of which are handwritten, and they read, in order: “Hd. Qrs. V. D., Nov. 10th, 1862, Respectfully forwarded, T. J. Jackson, Lt. Genl,” all written out by Jackson; “Hd. Qrs.: A.N.V., 12th Nov. 1862. Respectfully referred to Maj. Genl. Stuart who will cause papers of discharge to be given & officer ordered to his Regt. by order Gen. Lee,” and signed “R.H. Chilton, A.A & I.G.”; an endorsement written out and signed for J. E. B. Stuart by Norman R. Fitz Hugh, “Hd. Qrs. Cav. Division, 14th Nov. 1862, Respectfully referred to Lt. Col Gorden commanding who will comply with the instructions from Gen. Lee by command of Maj. Gen. J. E. B. Stuart, Norman R. Fitz Hugh, Maj. & A.A.G.”; “Hd. Qrs 4th Brigade, Nov. 7th, 1862, Respectfully forwarded, James H. Lane, Col. Comdg. Brig”; and “Hd. Qtrs A. P. Hills Light Div. Nov. 8, 62. Respectfully forwarded with the request that the Lieut. be ordered to join the company of which he has been elected Lieut. A. P. Hill, Maj. Genl.” Panels also bear a docketing notation. In very good condition, with a few small separations along mailing folds, toning along folds, heavier along docketing panels, as well as scattered light soiling.
As the Union Army was making major shifts in November of 1862—with General Grant beginning his campaign against Vicksburg and President Lincoln relieving McClellan of his charge of the Army of the Potomoc—Robert E. Lee returned his army to Virginia to refocus their strength after the Battle of Antietam. Preparing their march to Fredericksburg, the Confederate forces built over 70,000 men, with major divisions led by the generals represented on this letter. Also an active participant in the battle, William Barbour led the 37th North Carolina, having previously served with Hill’s Light Division in the Seven Days’ Battles; the following year he would fight alongside Jackson at Chancellorsville, where Jackson would endure his final wounds. Written at one of the most crucial points in the war, and holding the bold signatures of General Lee’s most important Confederate generals, this is a remarkable piece of Civil War history. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.