• Confederate Sympathizer Offers Reconnaissance On Union Gunboats, Effect On Armies Of Grant, Lee

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    Offering a 2 ¼ pp, 7 ¾ x 11 ½, ALS, written by Confederate sympathizer A.L. Gaines of Lloyd’s, Essex County, VA, May 19, 1864, to his Cousin Yelverton, reporting on Union movements, which he refers to as “the enemy.” 


    “As there is not a single picket or anyone to give information of the movements of the enemy [Union Army] in this quarter, I will inform you so that you may apprise military [Confederate] authorities. Four gunboats passed up the river yesterday and stopped at Sunder’s wharf landed [some men] and some of the men took possession of all his furniture, but the ladies persuaded the captain to release it. They told them at Mr. Saunder’s [Wheatland] that they would not disturb us much this time, but they were coming again when they intended to burn and destroy everything in their reach. They have taken up the torpedoes, or at any rate, they have passed them all and were at Port Micou when last seen.  It is rumored that 18 steamers or transports are in the mouth of the river but I cannot vouch for the truth of this. I suppose this is merely a reconnaissance. Their object may be to bring…force to flank Genl Lee at Port Royal and I suppose under cover of the gunboats Grant’s Army might get between Genl Lee and the Rappahannock River. There are several points on the Rappahannock from Leyton’s up where artillery might do great execution to gunboats or transports…and it seems to me that some steps ought to be taken to prevent their coming up…Grant can get his supplies and reinforcements by the Rappahannock. There was a petition gotten up some time since for some kind of military protection upon the Rappahannock River and everybody to whom it was presented signed it without any sort of hesitancy except Cousin R. Hunter…[He] said he did not like to suggest anything to the military…A.L. Gaines”


    Toning, folds, a couple of mouse chews, mostly at the bottom right affecting several words.   Very readable and a fascinating narrative of a Confederate sympathizer’s reconnaissance to interfere with the Union Army.


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