Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 43

Manuscript and Collectibles Auction

U.S. Civil War
Lot Photo Description Realized
Lot 367
Archive of Major Walter Thorn, African American Recipient of the Congressional Medal of Honor. Six loose-leaf notebooks containing approximately three hundred items from the personal effects of Major Walter Thorn (1844-1906), who earned the Medal of Honor in the Civil War while serving as Second Lieutenant, Co. G, 116th U.S. Colored Troops at Dutch Gap, Virginia, January 1, 1865. The citation with the medal, which was actually issued on December 8, 1898, reads: "After the fuze to the mined bulkhead had been lit, this officer, learning that the picket guard had not been withdrawn, mounted the bulkhead and at great personal peril warned the guard of its danger."

Thorn first enlisted as a private in May 1862 at 17 years of age and served as an enlisted man and officer in three regiments, before being mustered out of the service in 1867. He served on the staff of four General Officers, as Acting Assistant Adjutant General, Aid-de-Camp, Provost Marshal, etc., in the Armies of the Potomac, James, Cumberland and Gulf. He was at Appomattox Court House for Lee's surrender and served on the frontier under General Sheridan.

After the war, in addition to practicing law, Thorn wrote for "The Independent" (editied by Henry Ward Beecher), served as Asst. Assessor and Deputy Collector of Internal Revenue (his appointments are present), and was Deputy City Auditor of Brooklyn, and Shore Inspector for the State of New York. He also served for five years in the New York National Guard as Captain of the 14th Brooklyn Regiment and served as president of the Army and Navy Medal of Honor Legion and the War Veteran's and Sons' Association.

A group of war-related letters and documents include military assignments and general orders. Present is Thorn's appointment as 1st Lt. of the 116th USCT, signed March 23, 1865 by General E.O.C. Ord (document is separated at horizontal fold); also present are letters written in 1869 by Generals Ord and Godfrey Weitzel, recommending Thorn for his gallant conduct in the war. There are many typewritten and handwritten letters, speeches, musings (such as an invention for a ship's life preserver to keep it from rolling over if rammed) and numerous brochures from veterans' organizations, many reflecting Thorn's concern for the treatment of Union veterans and his bitterness at the inclusion of Confederate veterans in certain events. There are several copies of a spirited and somewhat acrimonious exchange of letters between Thorn and General Daniel Sickels in 1909 regarding Sickels' decision to leave the Medal of Honor organization headed by Thorn and start another. All in all, a fascinating look at the personal papers of this African American winner of the Congressional Medal of Honor.
Estimated Value $5,000 - 7,000.
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Lot 368
(Civil War and Other Signatures). Eight signatures: Joseph Hooker ("Major General Comdg"); Winfield Scott (with endorsement, "Approved"); Edwin M. Stanton, signature cut from a document with printed title, "Secretary of War"; 1860 Democratic presidential nominee Stephen A. Douglas free frank ("free S.A. Douglas"); Spanish-American War Admiral Pascual Cervera; senator and U.S. attorney general J.J. Crittenden; Ohio representative and senator John Sherman; and Roycroft founder Elbert Hubbard. Very Good to Fine. (8 items).
Estimated Value $300 - 350.
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Lot 369
Civil War Era Correspondence Archive. A group of 15 Civil War period letters (late 1862 to June 1865) in their postmarked envelopes along with one older, without the envelope, to the writer of the larger group.
In the earliest letter, dated Nov. 25, 1858, one "LCM" writes to his friend J.J. Mileham, about LCM's recent arrival in Keokuk, Iowa to attend medical school. LCM complains to Mileham about annoying queries from the locals, "men in ernest (ask) if we buried our negroes when they died or did we drag them off like we would a dead hog or any other kind of animal or if we did not make them work day & night & Sunday too and if we did not lash them every night and all such fool questions." He continues "Keokuk is noted for ugly ladies and Black Republicans."
In the subsequent group of 15 Civil War letters, Mileham writes to Miss Maggie Trotter at Canton, Missouri from various towns such as Cynthiana, Indiana; Camp Point, Illinois and three are postmarked Berry's Station, Kentucky. Mileham moved around and in a letter of October 26th (1862?), he asks for her response to be sent to James H. Gibson, and as he's concerned about the draft, he may have been using an alias. Mileham seems to be a Southern sympathizer from Missouri but left because of the lawlessness and guerilla warfare. He calls Missouri a "hard country…where nothing grows but the rank wickedness of Abolitionism and radicalism."
An early letter to Maggie declares a "flame of love that burns for you and you alone" though in a later one he fears "that fate has decided that you and I are not to be to each other more than friend." Yet he hopes "there is a happier time in store…where love…so long deferred may be fully realized."
In a March 3, 1863 letter from Camps Point, IL, he describes a "highly favored land where Jeff Davis don't rule" and goes on to say that he will "cheerfully go in defense of the stars and stripes", yet in Feb. 19, 1865, he changes tune expressing " the blues about the draft, which our glorious and ever to be adored Sovereign, Father Abraham had ordered" and he says "I shall not go to the fight", as it is not "evidence of bravery to fight where one has no sympathy." Later he supposes that the "nigger is above fear in Mo now much better than white folks and I shall soon expect to hear of some of the good loyal friends getting divorced from their consorts and taking themselves a mate of the real African stock".
An April 10, 1865 letter mentions the "Capture of Richmond" saying "the Rebellion it is thought is nearly at a close and we shall soon have the return of peace." Five days later, he writes again of "the surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia with its Commander Gen. Lee" and tells of "men almost frantic with joy. Shouting, singing, firing cannon and exhibiting their pleasure at the downfall of rebellion." He continues "But joy don't always come unmixed with sorrow. I have…learned of the death of President Lincoln…Rumor has it that he was assassinated at the theatre last night in Washington City. Some one shooting him through the head."
The final letter dated July 12, 1865 from Cythiana, Indiana describes returning soldiers "warworn and weatherbeaten…all tired of the war and many are heartily disgusted with what they accomplished, that is the elevation of the nigger, or more properly the degrading of the white man." A disturbing and fascinating time capsule of one man's jumbled thoughts during the years of our nation's greatest upheaval. (16 letters).
Estimated Value $1,250 - 1,750.
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Lot 370
(Custer, George A.) Civil War Muster Roll. Muster roll of future General George A. Custer (1839-1876) as Captain, Co. A, 5th Regiment of U.S. Cavalry, 18½" x 30½", covering the period April 30-June 30, 1865. Fifty-five men are listed. Information on each man includes when he enlisted, his rank, remarks about his service and details of payments. The remark by Geo. A Custer Capt. states "Absent on Det Service as Major Genl of Vols." The entire document is handwritten on the front and back. Very good; some fold separations and a few tiny holes are visible. The document is handsomely matted and framed to an overall size of 25" x 37".

Custer took part in every battle of the Army of the Potomac but one. His cavalry units played a critical role in forcing the retreat of Confederate General Robert E. Lee's forces and he was present at Appomattox. He was named Major General USV on April 15, 1865 and was breveted for gallant and meritorious services at Gettysburg, Yellow Tavern, Winchester, Fishers Hill, and Five Forks.
Estimated Value $2,500 - 3,500.
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Lot 371
(Custer, George A.) Two Books by Elizabeth B. Custer (1) The Boy General: Story of the Life of Major-General George A. Custer As Told By Elizabeth B. Custer, NY: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1901, 7" x 5", 204pp. This is a condensed version of three books by Mrs. Custer Tenting on the Plains, Following the Guidon, and Boots and Saddles. Deaccessioned from a library, with obvious wear, toning, and a few tears. With (2) 1st Edition of Following the Guidon (NY: Harpers, 1890) 341pp. Original green cloth covers; no title page. Some wear to covers; interior toned but tight. Mrs. Custer writes of following her husband and the Seventh Cavalry to Kansas and the Battle of the Washita River.
Estimated Value $125 - 150.
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Lot 372
Four Union Generals & Edwin Stanton. Five Civil War signatures: Joseph Hooker ("Major General Comdg"); George H. Thomas ("Yr obt svt. Geo. H. Thomas / Brig Genl U.S.A. & Maj Genl U.S.A."); Winfield Scott, signature in red ink; Carl Schulz ("C. Schulz");and Edwin M. Stanton, signature cut from a document with printed title, "Secretary of War." Very good to fine. (5 items).
Estimated Value $300 - 500.
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Lot 373
Nine Union Signatures. James A. Hardie war-date LS "Jas A. Hardie" as Lt. Col A.D.G." on "Head-Quarters, Army of the Potomad" letterhead, 1p, 7½" x 7¼", Washington, 1861 Dec. 11. Informing Brig. Gen. E.D. Keys that a private is taking a medical furlough. Matted with signatures of seven generals and Lincoln's first vice president: Hannibal Hamlin ("H. Hamlin MC"), Winfield S. Hancock ("Winf. S. Hancock Majr. Genl."), William Morrison ("W. Morrison, Illinois"), Frank P. Blair (Frank P. Blair MC"), William Wallace Burns ("Wm W Burns Brig Genl"), Anson G. McCook (Anson G. McCook New York City. N.Y. June 9th 1880") ,James B. Weaver (J.B. Weaver Bloomfield Iowa"), and Adoniram J. Warner ("A.J. Warner Marietta Ohio"). All fine. Framed to an overall size of 27" x 29½".
Estimated Value $400 - 600.
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Lot 374
Porter, David Dixon (1813-1891) U.S. Admiral; received the Thanks of Congress in 1864 for his role in opening the Mississippi and in 1865 for his role in capturing Fort Fisher. ALS as Vice Admiral, while Superintendent of the U.S. Naval Academy, 1½pp, 8" x 5", Annapolis, Md., 1869 Jan. 6. Very fine. To an unnamed correspondent, denouncing a bill which was to go before the House of Representative as "a piece of deception from beginning to end" and which, if passed, would have a deleterious effect on the Navy. He hopes that when the bill is fairly explained, that the members of the House will understand "the tremendous fraud they are called upon to approve [and] will consign it the fate it richly deserves."
Estimated Value $250 - 300.
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Lot 375
Sherman, William T. - Free Frank As Secretary of War. Postal cover with rare free frank ("W.T. Sherman") as Secretary of War, a position only filled by Sherman from September 11-October 31, 1869, 3¼" x 5¾", postmarked "Washington D.C. Free Oct. 22" and addressed in Sherman's hand to "General Geo. G. Meade, Philadelphia, Pa." Additionally, the docket reads,"Sherman in reference to assignment of Capt. Meade [the General's son]…." Another hand has written "Autograph of General Meade" under the docket. Light soiling, else very good.
Estimated Value $800 - 1,200.
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Lot 376
Union Muster Roll of Captain John H. Adams of the 38th Regiment of Ohio Volunteers - Jan. 1, 1862 thru Feb. 28, 1862. A complete detailed listing, 21" x 31". Very Good, some splits at folds with tape repairs.
Estimated Value $300 - 400.
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