Mar 10, 2020 - Sale 2533

Sale 2533 - Lot 59

Price Realized: $ 625
?Final Price Realized includes Buyer’s Premium added to Hammer Price
Estimate: $ 600 - $ 900
(CIVIL WAR--CONFEDERATE.) Swan, William D. Letter from a Confederate soldier in a Union prison, with cover bearing the censor's stamp. Autograph Letter Signed to Charles Swan of Elmira, NY. One page, 9 3/4 x 7 3/4 inches; lacking integral blank, folds, minimal wear. With mailing envelope bearing Elmira postmark and inked stamp reading "Prisoner's Letter, Examined, Elmira." Elmira, NY, 28 July 1864

Additional Details

William Duvall Swan (1841-1926), a miller's apprentice of West View, VA, served in the 52nd Virginia Infantry. He wrote this letter from a Union prison camp. His correspondent was insurance agent Charles Swan (1828-1902) who lived near the prison, apparently no close relation. The prisoner thanks his namesake for a care package including "nice paper, ink, and pens, and many other valuable articles that is useful to a soldier, and especially one occupying the position I am. The good crackers & oysters was rather a great treat to me." He then offers his thoughts on the war: "Our once beautiful and once happy, but now desolved and distracted country is in a miserable condition, all occasioned by this unholy war. May it be God's good will and pleasure to soon bring the war to a close . . . and the soldiers be permitted to return to their fireside." He adds: "Your given name is the same of my father, who lives in Virginia."