65
65
[Civil War]
A COLLECTION OF CONFEDERATE POW LETTERS DATED BETWEEN 1863 AND 1866, LARGELY ADDRESSED TO VIRGINIA J. MILLER, ALONG WITH RELATED EPHEMERA  
Estimate
6,0008,000
JUMP TO LOT
65
[Civil War]
A COLLECTION OF CONFEDERATE POW LETTERS DATED BETWEEN 1863 AND 1866, LARGELY ADDRESSED TO VIRGINIA J. MILLER, ALONG WITH RELATED EPHEMERA  
Estimate
6,0008,000
JUMP TO LOT

Details & Cataloguing

Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography

|
New York

[Civil War]
A COLLECTION OF CONFEDERATE POW LETTERS DATED BETWEEN 1863 AND 1866, LARGELY ADDRESSED TO VIRGINIA J. MILLER, ALONG WITH RELATED EPHEMERA  
Approximately 75 letters of various sizes pasted onto album leaves (album size: 12 3/5 x 10 7/8 in.; 312 x 275 mm). BINDING: Gray cloth over boards, covers and spine decoratively stamped in dark gray. 

Paperclip marks. Some foxing to binding, cocked, corners rubbed with fraying.


Read Condition Report Read Condition Report

Catalogue Note

Approximately 75 candid letters—detailing the day to day life of a number of Confederate prisoners of war—dated between 1863 and 1866, along with approximately 45 envelopes, newspaper clippings, and related materials.  

The album constitutes a small archive of letters, addressed to Virginia Miller, and other members of her family. Miss Miller was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Miller (d. ca. 1872), who was a prominent White House physician, and his family were relatives of the Harrisons. 

Virginia Miller carried on threads of correspondence with a number of imprisoned soldiers. The letters of F.C. Boston, Miss Miller's cousin, figure predominately. In one sent from Fort Delaware, and dated 29 November 1864, Boston writes: "The books you sent me I read with a greatest of pleasure and since you are so kind as to propose to send me others I will ask that you send me a rough copy of Shakespeare — this you know will last me a long time." The letters also convey the more empirical needs of the soldiers. In another letter sent from Fort Delaware, and dated 23 December 1864, Boston explains: "My dear Cousin, Your very welcome letter was received last evening and many thanks for your kind proposition to supply me with some clothing, but it is just too late for me to avail myself of your kindness for we yesterday received notice that no more permits would be granted us — I am glad to state however that I am still not very greatly in need...I would so like to spend xmas with you but there is no chance."

In general terms, the soldiers express a sense of gratitude for Miller's attentions. In a letter from J.F. Sessions, sent from Johnson's Island Hospital, and dated June 1864, he notes: "It is indeed a great difficulty which we labor under in being restricted to one page letters, and I am certain that you cannot lament such a state of things more than I do, nor even half so much. — Will you allow me to suggest that paper of this size is not considered contraband, and that there is as yet no restriction upon the number of letters which we are able to receive.  You can have no idea, being free and surrounded by numberless sources amusement, what an event the arrival of a letter from an outside friend is to us." 

A majority of the letters are by high ranking officers, Captains and Colonels. A number of letters are from Colonel Reuben Beverley Boston, who was the older brother of Fontaine Chesterfield Boston and was one of the last Confederate officers killed in the Civil War. Colonel Boston commanded the 5th Virginia Cavalry and was killed in action at High Bridge in Farmville. Virginia. 

Fine Printed and Manuscript Americana, Including Cartography

|
New York