Lot 258: Samuel McDowell Tate - Confederate Colonel
29 October 2016
Wells, ME, USA
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Description: [CIVIL WAR]? Samuel McDowell Tate? (1830-1897) Confederate officer. In 1861, after the outbreak of war, Tate volunteered for service in the Confederate army and was appointed captain of Company D, Sixth North Carolina Regiment. Commissioned and promoted to the rank of major on 20 May 1862, he was advanced to lieutenant colonel on 2 July 1863 at Gettysburg. There he assumed command of the Sixth North Carolina Regiment after the death of Colonel Isaac E. Avery and led his troops up Cemetery Hill and in the battle on Seminary Ridge. Isaac Avery? formed a partnership with Charles F. Fisher and Samuel McDowell Tate to act as contractors in the building of the Western North Carolina Railroad in the mid-1850s. With Hoke's wounding at the Battle of Chancellorsville in May 1863, Avery temporarily assumed command of the brigade in time for the Gettysburg Campaign. The now 34-year-old Avery led his troops forward on July 1 on a wide sweep north and east of the borough of Gettysburg. Union artillery fire from a knoll near Culp's Hill finally halted his advance. On July 2, Maj. Gen. Jubal A. Early ordered Avery along with the brigade of Brig. Gen. Harry T. Hays to assault eastern Cemetery Hill. Attacking in the early evening, Avery was struck in the neck by a musket ball and fell from his white horse, bleeding badly. Apparently he was alone at the time, and the brigade's attack was delivered without coordination. After the ill-fated charge, the partially paralyzed officer was discovered by several of his soldiers. His aide and former business partner, Maj. Samuel Tate of the 6th North Carolina, knelt by his side. Unable to speak from his mortal wound and with his right hand useless from the paralysis, Avery with his left hand scribbled a simple note and gave it to Tate. It said: "Major, tell my father I died with my face to the enemy. I. E. Avery." Samuel Tate continued to command the Sixth regiment until the close of the war. When the Civil War ended, Tate made his way back to Morganton, North Carolina, where the stockholders of the Western North Carolina Railroad elected him to the presidency of the disorganized and bankrupt organization. As president, Tate repaired and rebuilt the railroad, revamped the old rolling stock, and straightened out its financial affairs. Governor William W. Holden removed him from the presidency in 1865, but Governor Jonathan Worth restored him to that position in 1866. He was again ousted by the Holden-appointed board of directors in 1868 but continued to act as the financial agent of the stockholders and as the trustee for payment of debts.?Offered here is an 1888 document NOT signed by Tate, signed by B.J. Ross.? Approx. 5 x 4-3/4 in.
Condition Report: VG