JOHN CLEM - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 09/16/1915 - HFSID 251495
DRUMMER BOY OF CHICKAMAUGA: JOHN LINCOLN CLEM. Rare ALS: "Jno L. Clem", 1p, 5½x8¼. Canadian Pacific Railway, Hotel System, Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, 1915 April 16. To Captain George E. Albee, U.S.A.
Sale Price $1,020.00
DRUMMER BOY OF CHICKAMAUGA: JOHN LINCOLN CLEM. Rare ALS: "Jno L. Clem", 1p, 5½x8¼. Canadian Pacific Railway, Hotel System, Chateau Frontenac, Quebec, 1915 April 16. To Captain George E. Albee, U.S.A. In full: "Your very kind letter of the 10th reached me here & I have forwarded your letter to John McElroy who will attend to your requests. I will not get to Washington until the 29th. It is cold up here & we move southward to-day. Our first stop will be White Mts. We may yet live in Washington but we will go to San Antonio first. My son is doing splendidly & does not call on 'Dad' any more financially. Regards to Mrs. Albee." In 1861, when John Lincoln Clem (1851-1937) was nine-years-old, he tried to join a regiment in his home state of Ohio. After being turned down, he ran away from home and attached himself to the 22nd Michigan Infantry. The soldiers gave him a drum and chipped in to pay him soldier's wages. In April 1862, a shell smashed his drum at the Battle of Shiloh and Clem became known as Johnny Shiloh. Without a drum, he was given a musket cut down to his size. During the fighting at Chickamauga in 1863, he became separated from his regiment. A Confederate Colonel rode towards him shouting, "Stop, you little Yankee devil!" The 60-pound soldier lifted his musket to his shoulder and fired, killing the Colonel. Clem was captured but escaped when the battle intensified. Clem, who was then 12, was given the rank of Sergeant for his actions, becoming THE YOUNGEST SOLDIER IN THE UNION ARMY and the youngest Sergeant ever in the U.S. Army. When he retired in 1915 (the year of this letter), Clem was a Major General and the last man on active duty who had fought in the Civil War. The epitaph on his tombstone at Arlington National Cemetery reads: "JOHN LINCOLN CLEM/THE DRUMMER BOY OF CHICKAMAUGA/MAJOR GENERAL U.S. ARMY/1851-1937." One of the most desirable and least encountered of all Civil War autographs. Mounting strips on verso at upper edge lightly show through. File notes (unknown hand) at upper blank area. Lightly nicked at right blank margin. Overall, fine condition.
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