Nov 25, 2014 - Sale 2368

Sale 2368 - Lot 56

Price Realized: $ 6,250
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,500 - $ 3,500
(CIVIL WAR.) Brigadier General Nathaniel McLean's report, map, and casualty report from the Battle of Chancellorsville. 3 manuscript items, various sizes; minor to moderate wear. [Virginia, May 1863]

Additional Details

Brigadier General Nathaniel Collins McLean (1815-1905) of Ohio played an important role at the Battle of Chancellorsville, where he commanded a brigade in the troubled XI Corps led by Oliver Otis Howard. On the second day of the battle, 2 May 1863, his brigade was on the front line of Stonewall Jackson's renowned surprise flank attack. McLean requested Howard's permission to outflank the Confederates but was denied, and the Union troops were routed. This small archive includes three important documents prepared in the aftermath of the battle:
Unsigned contemporary secretarial copy of McLean's post-battle report to his immediate commander General Devers, 6 pages. It is a spirited defense of his brigade's retreat under impossible odds: "The manner and force of the attack precluded the hope of a successful resistance, and our position was such that the breaking of the troops on my immediate right exposed my men in the rifle pits to almost certain destruction if they remained in the rifle pits, and at the same time the rush of fugitives prevented their forming in good order by a change of front. In truth the enemy came in great numbers so rapidly in pursuit as almost to be mingled with our own men in one mass." Published in War of the Rebellion XXXVII, pages 637-9. Headquarters, [May 1863]
Unsigned and untitled manuscript map in red and black, 8 x 10 inches, plus integral blank. Shows the defense against Jackson's flank attack, as referenced in page 2 of the above report. The Union lines face south, while Jackson's "Line of Rebel Attack" pours in from the west, covered by two lone guns. The Confederates overwhelmed the rifle pits from behind, as discussed in the report.
Casualty list of the 75th Ohio Infantry, which absorbed some of the worst of the flank attack, prepared by the regimental adjutant E.R. Montfort. McLean had been the regiment's founding colonel, and it remained part of his brigade. The list shows killed, wounded, and missing by company--well over a hundred men in all. 2 pages.
with--a small group of papers concerning Adjutant E.R. Montfort's 1891 article about the battle: a letter to McLean, two copies of a printed map of the battle, and a clipping of the resulting article, apparently in a Loyal Legion publication.