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Estimate: $ 1,200 - $ 1,800
(CIVIL WAR.) Ruger, Thomas Howard. Letter by a colonel in the Shenandoah Valley campaign, with a map of his recent itinerary. Autograph Letter Signed as "Howard" to wife [Helen] of Beloit, WI. 4 pages, 10 x 7 3/4 inches, on one folding sheet, including half-page map; minimal wear. With pre-stamped envelope in his hand, postmarked "Banks Division," torn open on right edge. Virginia, 23 April 1862
Thomas Howard Ruger (1833-1907) was at this time serving as colonel of the 3rd Wisconsin Infantry; he was later brevetted as a major general. This letter found him in the force pursuing Stonewall Jackson's cavalry through the Shenandoah Valley: "Just as our forces reached the bridge the day before I came over the mountain some rebel cavalry were just about setting fire to the bridge but were charged by our cavalry and made to beat a retreat with loss." Ruger also mentions a visit from General Banks, and describes the Shenandoah scenery at length, concluding that it is the finest he has ever seen. He also mentions "several places in the Blue Ridge where Union men have kept concealed for a long time to escape being drafted or imprisoned." The map shows the roads along a stretch of the Shenandoah, particularly the road from Newmarket to Culpepper where Ruger was stationed; he explains the map to his wife at length.
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