Apr 13, 2023 - Sale 2633

Sale 2633 - Lot 43

Price Realized: $ 2,375
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 2,000 - $ 3,000
(CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE.) John W. Walker. Letters written by a young Richmond man during the outset of the war. 5 Autograph Letters Signed to brother William Davis Walker (1835-1918); various sizes, generally minor wear. Richmond, VA, 1861

Additional Details

The central figure here is John W. Walker (1839-1865), raised on White Hall Plantation in Cumberland County, west of Richmond, VA. John wrote from Richmond on 5 January 1861: "The state of Georgia has taken all the forts & arsenals in the state and whipped off all the U.S. troops. They are kicking up a big fuss all down south and we will all be in war soon." Four days later he told of a Washington dispatch with the latest news on the Fort Sumter standoff: "The Governor replied [to Major Anderson] by saying he might fire and be damned." On 11 April: "Lyncoln says he intends to reinforce Fort Sumter, peacibly if possible, forcibly if he must. He has called out all the force of Washington and called on Pennsylvania for men to guard the Capitol. He has turned Col. Bigger out of the post office in this city." By 3 August Walker had enlisted in the 15th Virginia Infantry with the Confederate Army, but regretted it: "I now propose you to come down and take my place. I am fast failing in health and do not believe I will be able to stand it 3 months longer. . . . There is no chance of getting a discharge unless a substitute is offered." He describes some of the regiment's fine officers and assures his brother that "most of our company are professors of religion." John announces his medical discharge by General Magruder in his 28 September letter, and proposes to go into the shoemaking business with his brother. He hopes to source hides in Richmond, have his brother manufacture the shoes, "and ship them down here (such as will suit soldiers and the like). They will sell like hotcakes."

With--a letter from Richard Miller to William Walker, 30 March 1861: "The spirit of cecession appears to be current among the people, but the Convention seems to be rather indisposed."