Goldberg Coins and Collectibles

Sale 99

Lot 145

Maceo Grajales, Antonio--Military Orders During the Cuban War of Independence (1845-1896) Maceo was a mulatto general called the "Bronze Titan." He was second-in-command of the Cuban army of independence, under Máximo Gómez. Autograph letter signed "A. Maceo", 2 pages (front/back of one sheet), in Spanish, 8¾ x 6½". To Lt. Col. Gonzalez, translated: "Arrived, without incident, I am being escorted by forces of Major Tomas Gonzalez; I believe that if yours are cautious and active they willo get through without (firing) one shot. Give orders to keep everything in absolute secrecy. The guides should, by whatever means, take you through where I did, or through the place they are familiar with; but without delay, even if the weather is bad. Major Ramos already knows and is well aware of the means you should serve him. Give receipt to Major Federico Nuñez for 10 centenes, which he should take for me to that base camp, and bring to these headquarters. If for resources for General Bermudez and other compatriots, you have to spend something, do it. Bring, by any means, my assistant to Pedro. Last night he ran away with a bomb and box of medicines. Try not to leave my aide and escort, and neither those of General Diaz." The letter is toned and foxed and has old tape remnants along the margins.

What makes this letter especially poignant is that Maceo's position was betrayed to the Spanish and two days after writing this letter, he and his small troop of men were intercepted by the Spanish. Maceo was shot and his men ran away under intense fire. Only Lieutenant Francisco Gómez, son of Commander-in-Chief Máximo Gómez, stayed to protect his general's body and was himself killed by machete strikes. Both were later buried in the Monumento El Cacahual south of Havana, and the site is a place of pilgrimage for Cubans. Estimate Value $400 - 600

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