Sep 26, 2019 - Sale 2517

Sale 2517 - Lot 53

Price Realized: $ 281
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 400 - $ 600
TELEGRAM TO HOWELL COBB ON THE SURRENDER (CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE.) McLaws, Lafayette. Two generals of the late Confederacy dispute a Union general's orders on their surrender. Manuscript telegram on printed blank of the Southern Telegraph Companies, sent to General Howell Cobb, 3 1/2 x 7 1/4 inches; written on both sides, slightly cropped, tape repairs of closed tears on recto and verso. With original plain envelope addressed to Cobb. Augusta, GA, [circa early May 1865]

Additional Details

This telegram references the military convention of 26 April 1865 by which Johnston's Confederate army surrendered to Sherman, effectively ending the war. In the last battle of the campaign on 16 April, Union General James H. Wilson had captured Columbus, GA and imprisoned Confederate General Howell Cobb (a key founder of the Confederacy). Here Cobb's fellow Confederate general Lafayette McLaws points out a flaw in Wilson's official order regarding the military convention: "If you will read Gen. Johnston's telegram to Gov. Brown of the 1st, wish you will perceive that Gen. Johnston does not claim any authority west of Georgia. Gen. Wilson's order in relation to the Convention is therefore wrong."