SIGNED BY FITZ JOHN PORTER (CIVIL WAR.) Patterson, Robert. Manuscript general order describing a very early Union victory. General order #29 issued as commander of the Department of Pennsylvania, signed for Patterson by his assistant adjutant general Fitz John Porter, and addressed to Brigadier General [Alpheus?] Williams in Williamsport, MD. 2 manuscript pages, 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches, on a folding leaf of "Headquarters Department of Pennsylvania" letterhead, with integral blank; folds, minimal wear. Hagerstown, MD, 29 June 1861
This order announces the Union victory in a cavalry skirmish near Cumberland, MD during the first months of the war. Written a month before the First Battle of Bull Run, it is marked by a confident tone. It describes "a small party of Indiana volunteers under Col. Wallace"--that would be Lew Wallace, who went on to greater fame as a politician and as the author of Ben-Hur. 13 men under Wallace routed a larger force of "41 insurgents," and then held off a counter-attack by 75 Confederates. Wallace's detachment lost just one man, and reportedly killed 31. The order is made more noteworthy by the signature of Fitz John Porter, who later became a major general.