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Price= $5500.00


A defining Confederate States of America document
that conveys a sense of strong excitement and optimism
for the future of the emergent Southern Confederacy.

With soaring-hope and measured-confidence,
President Jefferson Davis signed this telegraph message
at the high-watermark of his personal impact upon history.

Davis directed his enthusiastic troop request to
Governor J. E. Brown of Georgia.
Aide Louis T. Wigfall telegraphed the message
at 11:25 A.M. on 2 June 1861.
Ironically, Davis would feud rather bitterly with both men
as Confederate fortunes wained over time.

--One-page Confederate document (about 7.5 x 9.75"), dark ink on light blue paper.

--Fold lines, otherwise good condition.

--Transcription as follows:

Richmond Va
June 2, 1861

Govn. J. E. Brown
Milledgeville, Ga.

Your well equipped, armed & supplied troops are to us a great relief - thanks for your zeal - send the whole five Regts. for the war - We need such troops and immediately. Their instruction can be continued in the presence of the enemy -

[Signed] Jeffer Davis

Telegraphed 11:25 A.M.
[Signed] L. T. Wigfall

[At this time, Wigfall was acting as an aide to President Davis]

[Please scroll down to bottom of image to view item]

The provenance for this telegraph is as follows:

On another piece of paper (photocopy included in this lot) Bessie Johnston Gresham wrote:
“Autograph War Letters of ... President Davis ... Given me by Mrs. Taylor (daughter of Genl Wigfall – Dec 1922”]

of Baltimore, Maryland was reared in a home atmosphere of deep sympathy for the Southern Cause. One of her brothers was imprisoned in Baltimore for aiding the South. Her brother Elliott fought for the South as a Confederate officer and lost a leg at the battle of Antietam.

Bessie became an ardent and unreconstructed Confederate.

In 1887, Bessie married Thomas Baxter Gresham, a Confederate veteran from Macon Georgia.

Bessie Gresham was active in the Baltimore chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and amassed a notable collection of Confederate manuscripts and relics at the Gresham home at 815 Park Avenue in Baltimore. Most of her items were left to the Museum of the Confederacy, the Maryland Historical Society & other Institutions.

The items included in this lot were passed down through her stepson Leroy Gresham.

In 1926, CONFEDERATE VETERAN MAGAZINE printed Bessie Gresham's obituary:
In the death of Mrs. Thomas Baxter Gresham, which occurred February 21, 1926, Baltimore Chapter No. 8 and the Maryland Division, U. D. C. have sustained a great bereavement.

She was the daughter of Thomas Donaldson Johnston, of Baltimore, and lived her entire life in this city. Miss Johnston married a brave and gallant soldier of General Lee’s army, who survives her. One of her brothers, who was on General Ewell’s staff, suffered the loss of a leg at the battle of Sharpsburg: her two other brothers were active Southern sympathizers and were under constant surveillance by Federal authorities for giving all possible aid to the Confederacy; her home was a center from which radiated help. Reared in this atmosphere of deep love for our “cause,” she became an ardent and unreconstructed Confederate.

During her girlhood Miss Johnston was acquainted with many Southern generals and received from them letters, photographs, and autographs, also a number of gifts. A large portion of these mementos she presented to the Maryland Historical Society, where they are greatly treasured and occupy a valued space.

Mrs. Gresham was the last surviving charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in the State. The Baltimore Chapter of the Society was organized in the parlors of her home, and she was a member of the governing board from its inception and for many years its Recording Secretary. It was owing to her efforts that the design for the Confederate monument by F. Wellington Ruckstull, was submitted to the Daughters in Maryland. She helped to secure the erection of the woman’s monument and contributed generously to the Stone Mountain fund.

In the passing of this valued officer, whose loss we deeply deplore, one has gone from us whose convictions ever remained unchanged. The flower of Confederate loyalty and devotion took root and blossomed in the soil of her soul, grew and spread its fragrance over her entire life. We mourn her demise, but having “crossed over the river,”we are glad in the assurance that she now enjoys perfect peace and rest eternal in the presence of Almighty God.
[Mrs. Preston Power, Editor, Maryland Division, U. D. C.]

Price= $5500.00

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