2145
2145
(Civil War) 
AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED ("C.M.A."), FROM MRS. CHARLES M. AFRON TO AN UNNAMED AUNT, WITH ONE OF THE LETTERS PERTAINING TO THE BURNING OF COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Estimate
4,0006,000
JUMP TO LOT
2145
(Civil War) 
AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED ("C.M.A."), FROM MRS. CHARLES M. AFRON TO AN UNNAMED AUNT, WITH ONE OF THE LETTERS PERTAINING TO THE BURNING OF COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA
Estimate
4,0006,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

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New York

(Civil War) 
AUTOGRAPH LETTERS SIGNED ("C.M.A."), FROM MRS. CHARLES M. AFRON TO AN UNNAMED AUNT, WITH ONE OF THE LETTERS PERTAINING TO THE BURNING OF COLUMBIA, SOUTH CAROLINA
6 pages (7 5/8 x 9 7/8 in.; 192 x 248 mm), signed ("C.M.A."), Columbia, So[uth] Ca[rolina], 18 January 1863; one or two short splits to old folds. — 12 pages (8 x 12 1/2 in.; 200 x 316 mm), signed ("C.M.A."), Columbia, [South Carolina], 16 [June] 1865; one or two splits or holes where previously folded, without loss of text, one instance of browning. — [With]: Hand-colored cabinet card (2 1/2 x 4 1/8 in.; 62 x 105 mm), presumably of the sender verso printed "Cook | Charleston, S.C."; some minor spotting.
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Catalogue Note

The writer of these letters, Mrs. Charles M. Afron, was evidently a lady of some standing in Columbia, South Carolina. With a lack of punctuation and her phonetic spelling (e.g. the Southern "adea" for "idea"), she describes the atrocities of the Civil War in horrifyingly graphic terms, in particular the surrender of Columbia:

"The shouts & yells of the negroes now assembled in thousands soon told us the Yankees were in the city, the mayor went out to meet them, & surrendered one of the most beautiful citys in the U.S.... our enemys entered, the hated flags waving, the loud & long cheers ringing through the air, the negroes shouts of welcom all pierced us to the heart...the whole city was now set on fire, 84 squares, 2/3 of the city was burned to the ground- the soldiers went from house to house setting them on fire, in every room, scarcely giving one time to get out, if you attempted to save anything they would snatch it from you & throw [it] into the flames..."

"I never far a moment doubted that victory would not be ours," Afron notes in the conclusion of her letter, "our poor soldiers endured every privation that man could live through but god is my judge I would rather be a Southern Pauper than a Yankee millionaire..."

Fine Manuscript and Printed Americana

|
New York