Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 82

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Lot 818

[Confederate General Earl Van Dorn]. Earl Van Dorn (1820-1863) was a career soldier whose relationship to Andrew Jackson (he was the son of a niece of Jackson's) won him an appointment to West Point. He fought in the Mexican American War and saw action in Florida against the Seminoles. He also served as a Confederate general and was noted for his defeats at Pea Ridge and Corinth in 1862, and for his murder on May 8, 1863 at Spring Hill, Tennessee, by a man who said Van Dorn had "violated the sanctity of his home."

Three months before Van Dorn's assassination, his oldest sister, Octavia (Van Dorn) Sullivane, writes an 18-page letter to their sister Jane, Belvoir (Va), Feb. 5, 1863, full of news about family, friends, and the war, and defending their brother against the "jealousy" of his enemies: She notes that "after the disaster at Corinth he was terribly abused," and describes the charges brought against him by Gen. Bowen and the Court of Inquiry; he was acquitted, and "The President [Jefferson Davis] said it was the most complete vindication he had ever seen." She describes the cavalry raid against Holly Springs "that saved Mississippi from being overrun by the enemy…Gen. Grant with a large Army was coming down on the Mobile & Ohio R.R. towards Columbus, Miss…when Earl with 5000 Cavalry went up suddenly &…destroyed all of Gen. Grant's stores….Earl has done good service to the South, and it will be acknowledged some day… " She denies rumors that he drinks too much and that his wife is suing him for divorce, and describes his bitterness at being overlooked for promotion. Much more very interesting detail!
Estimated Value $500-UP.

Realized $308

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