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This rare Civil War-dated letter was signed by Confederate General William Wirt Allen in 1865, less than two months before the Confederacy's surrender. It was written for a soldier who accompanied Union prisoners-of-war, at a time the Confederacy didn't take too many enemy soldiers prisoner.
Scarce war-date manuscript letter signed
"Wm W Allen". 1 page, 7¼x9½, on State of South Carolina Executive Department letterhead. Written at "Head Quarters Allen's Div. Cav., In the field", Feb. 21, 1865. Addressed to First Lt. John G. Hudson, Aide de Camp, Wheeler's Corp. In full: "Lieut. I have the honor to forward you three Federal Prisoners captured about 11 A.M. today by a scout from the Alabama Brigade. They were taken about 15 miles from here on the Columbia & Chester road." On November 6, 1864, Allen (1835-1894, born in Montgomery, Alabama) was commissioned brigadier-general, and took command of a brigade at Dalton, consisting of the First, Third, Fourth, Ninth, Twelfth and Fifty-first regiments of Alabama cavalry, Wheeler's corps, army of Tennessee. He was in charge of this brigade through all the arduous duties of the mounted men in the Atlanta campaign. In August 1864, Crews' Georgia brigade was added to his command, and subsequently Anderson's Confederate brigade. At the head of this division he, under the command of Wheeler, followed Sherman in his march through Georgia and in the Carolinas, earning by his fidelity to duty the commission of major-general, conferred upon him in 1865. This letter, by content, was not mailed, but was folded and carried by the Confederate soldier who accompanied three captured Union soldiers from the field to General Joseph Wheeler. Exposed to the winter elements, the text faded but is legible and the letter is lightly foxed. It was penned just seven weeks before Lee's surrender at Appomattox, at a time when not too many Union troops were being captured. Overall, in fine condition.

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Died: Circa 1894

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