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Lot 17: 1863 General SAMUEL W. CRAWFORD Recommends Promotion of Major ABNER DOUBLEDAY !

Presidential Election Auction - Early American History Auctions

by Early American

29 October 2016

Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USA

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  • 1863 General SAMUEL W. CRAWFORD Recommends Promotion of Major ABNER DOUBLEDAY !
  • 1863 General SAMUEL W. CRAWFORD Recommends Promotion of Major ABNER DOUBLEDAY !
  • 1863 General SAMUEL W. CRAWFORD Recommends Promotion of Major ABNER DOUBLEDAY !
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Description: Autographs
General Crawford Recommends the Promotion of Major Abner Doubleday! Excellent Content Civil War Date Letter
SAMUEL W. CRAWFORD (1829-1892). Civil War Union General who commanded a battery at Fort Sumter, and later led at Atietam, Gettysburg and Five Forks.

ABNER DOUBLEDAY (1819-1893). Union General in the American Civil War, fired the first shot in defense of Fort Sumter, the opening battle of the war, and had a pivotal role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg.
February 21, 1863-Dated Civil War, Remarkable Historic Content Autograph Letter Signed, "S. W. Crawford," as Brigadier General, at Washington, DC, 1 page, measuring 5" x 8", Choice Extremely Fine. Expected faint folds, in very nice condition with a crisp bold signature at the conclusion. In this excellent content war-date letter Crawford, a Union Brigadier General who commanded a battery at Fort Sumter, and later led at Antietam, Gettysburg and Five Forks, recommends the promotion of Major Abner Doubleday. This impressive, truly historical, Civil War Letter reads, in full:

"It gives me great pleasure to confirm the statement of Brig. Genl. Hatch. I have known Major Doubleday since the commencement of the war. He is far beyond the standard of the usual applicant for the position he seeks & he has won the highest opinions from all for his conduct in the field, & his devotion to his profession, & the interest of the service required in my judgement the appointment of prior such officers. I commend most highly Major Doubleday for the position. [Signed] S.C. CRawford, Brig Genl, 12th Army Corps."

Major Abner Doubleday was promoted in March 1863 to Major General of Volunteers and had a pivotal role in the early fighting at the Battle of Gettysburg. Much more content located in our online auction version. A pivotal recommendation!


Abner Doubleday initially served in coastal garrisons and then in the Mexican-American War from 1846 to 1848 and the Seminole Wars from 1856 to 1858. In 1858 he was transferred to Fort Moultrie in Charleston Harbor serving under Colonel John L. Gardner.

By the start of the Civil War, he was a captain and second in command in the garrison at Fort Sumter, under Major Robert Anderson. He aimed the cannon that fired the first return shot in answer to the Confederate bombardment on April 12, 1861. He subsequently referred to himself as the "Hero of Sumter" for this role.[

Doubleday was promoted to Major on May 14, 1861, and commanded the Artillery Department in the Shenandoah Valley from June to August, and then the artillery for Major General Nathaniel Banks's division of the Army of the Potomac. He was appointed brigadier general of volunteers on February 3, 1862, and was assigned to duty in northern Virginia while the Army of the Potomac conducted the Peninsula Campaign. His first combat assignment was to lead the 2nd Brigade, 1st Division, III Corps of the Army of Virginia during the Northern Virginia Campaign.

In the actions at Brawner's farm, just before the Second Battle of Bull Run, he took the initiative to send two of his regiments to reinforce Brigadier General John Gibbon's brigade against a larger Confederate force, fighting it to a standstill. (Personal initiative was required since his division commander, Brig. Gen. Rufus King, was incapacitated by an epileptic seizure at the time. He was replaced by Brigadier General John P. Hatch.) His men were routed when they encountered Major General James Longstreet's corps, but by the following day, August 30, he took command of the division when Hatch was wounded, and he led his men to cover the retreat of the Union Army.

Doubleday again led the division, now assigned to the I Corps of the Army of the Potomac, after South Mountain, where Hatch was wounded again. At Antietam, he led his men into the deadly fighting in the Cornfield and the West Woods, and one colonel described him as a "gallant officer ... remarkably cool and at the very front of battle."

He was wounded when an artillery shell exploded near his horse, throwing him to the ground in a violent fall. He received a brevet promotion to lieutenant colonel in the regular army for his actions at Antietam and was promoted in March 1863 to major general of volunteers, to rank from November 29, 1862. At Fredericksburg in December 1862, his division mostly sat idle. During the winter, the I Corps was reorganized and Doubleday assumed command of the 3rd Division. At Chancellorsville in May 1863, the division was kept in reserve

In San Francisco, after the Civil War, he obtained a patent on the cable car railway that still runs there.

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