April 8th Autographs, Manuscripts, Books & Photography
Search By:
This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 4/8/2021

Important Autograph Letter Signed by the Highest-ranking Confederate general (1798–1876) during the Civil War Samuel Cooper, Date lined Richmond, Virginia, March 15, 1862, to General John H. Winder, one page, octavo, reading, "This the wish of the Secretary of War that Co: A. 59 Va. Regt. called Richmond Light Infantry Blues, lately commanded by Capt Jennings Wise, be not disbanded, but that it be allowed to recruit its members under Lt. Lanxey (sp?). If you have given any order for its disbandment please revoke it." Presented in a gilt wooden frame. Frame size 14.25 x 16.26 in. The letter was written after the disaster in the battle at After the disaster at Roanoke Island where Captain Jennings Wise the son of past Governor and General Henry Wise died in battle. The unit was the most famous of all units in Virginia with a long history going back to 1789.

The Richmond Light Infantry Blues was founded in 1789 according to its history and tradition and the state of Virginia recognized its formal commissioning date as 10 May 1793. The unit was called into service during Gabriel's Rebellion, the War of 1812, Nat Turner's Insurrection, and John Brown's Harper's Ferry Raid in 1859. The unit served during the Civil War from April 1861 to April 1865, during the Spanish-American War, and the Mexican border police action in 1916. The Blues served as part of the 104th Ammunition Train during World War I. In 1920, the unit was reorganized and incorporated into the National Guard. In 1926, the Blues traveled to Europe with Guard units from Connecticut.

The Blues went with the earliest of the troops sent to the Potomac River when the War Between the States broke out, and remained there for several months, when it was assigned to Wise's Legion, afterward called Wise's Brigade. The Richmonders saw service on the Gauley and Kanawha Rivers, in what today is West Virginia.

In February 1862, the command was ordered to Nag's Head and thence to Roanoke Island, N. C. Brigadier-General Henry A. Wise pronounced the movement an ill-advised one and protested against it. While many of his troops were on the mainland, those on the island were pounced upon by a Federal expedition under General Ambrose E. Burnside, and after a short but severe battle, the Confederates were forced to surrender.

In this action, the Blues lost their commander, Captain O. Jennings Wise, editor of the Richmond Enquirer and son of General Wise. Lieutenant Fred Carter, Sergeant George W. Jarvis, and Privates Adler, Bennet, Nute, Gamble, Johnson, Ruskel and Thompson were wounded. Privates Adler and Bennet afterward died from their wounds. Fifty-one members of the company were prisoners in the hands of the enemy. This was one of the saddest events in the history of the Blues. For the moment the old company ceased to be. The survivors and former members, however, took pride and comfort in the knowledge that the command had met the supreme test of battle and had cheerfully and gladly given its best to the cause it served.

Captain O. Jennings Wise

After the disaster at Roanoke Island, the Blues reorganized, and in April 1862, went to Yorktown. They were present when McClellan landed his army before Yorktown and helped Magruder to hold his lines until Johnston arrived from Manassas.

From the summer of 1862 until September 1863, Wise's Brigade remained in the vicinity of Chaffin's Bluff. The Blues went off on expeditions into New Kent County, sometimes they were at Hanover Junction repelling raiders, again they were skirmishing in Charles City.

Wise's Brigade was ordered to Charleston, S. C., and upon debarking there, the Virginians found shells falling in the city; the enemy was bombarding the place. The Blues encamped on Johnson's Island, 1,200 yards from Fort Sumter, which was under constant fire.

In May 1864, Wise's Brigade was transferred to Petersburg. The Blues were in that portion of the Southern forces which fell upon Butler's army. Henceforward, until General Lee's surrender on April 9, 1865, there was never a day in which Richmonders were not within firing distance of the enemy, and there was not an engagement in which they did not lose men, killed and wounded.

With One of a Kind Collectibles LOA

Confederate General Samuel Cooper Saves The Famous  Light Infantry Richmond BluesConfederate General Samuel Cooper Saves The Famous  Light Infantry Richmond Blues
Confederate General Samuel Cooper Saves The Famous " Light Infantry Richmond Blues"
Click above for larger image.
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $570.00
Number Bids: 13
Auction closed on Thursday, April 8, 2021.

Auction Notepad


You may add/edit a note for this item or view the notepad:  

Submit    Delete     View all notepad items