[Two Autograph Letters Signed taken as Civil War Trophies after the Evacuations of Yorktown and Gloucester Point, Virginia in May 1862].
Two Virginia letters taken as Civil War trophies by A.H. Mershon after the evacuations of Yorktown and Gloucester Point, just opposite on the York River, on May 5, 1862. Mershon—likely a Union soldier—appears to have picked up the letters as souvenirs of the chaos of war, a relic of his Confederate adversaries.
Both letters, dated from well before the war—in 1842 and 1844, are addressed to attorney Samuel Shield Esq., Clerk of the York County Court and Commissioner in Chancery. The letters, taken by Mershon as trophies, possibly from abandoned office building or house, are work-a-day legal letters, one of which was written by one Miles M. Smelt, a Virginia lawyer, his name appearing as such in the Richmond Enquirer.
Mershon carefully documented his trophies by adding his own docketing, signature, and date to each of the letters: “Taken at Yorktown after the Evacuation…” and “Taken at Glo[uce]ster Point after the Evacuation…” The letters are curious examples of documented Civil War relics from Confederate Virginia.
Description: [Two Autograph Letters Signed taken as Civil War Trophies after the Evacuations of Yorktown and Gloucester Point, Virginia in May 1862].
[Warwick County (Virginia), July 13, 1842 and London Bridge, Princess Anne Co. (Virginia), September 2, 1844]. p and p. Two ALsS. 4tos. Bifoliums with integral address leaves. Both letters bearing Civil War-era docketing, dated May 5, 1862. Folds; some toning or faint staining; one letter with short closed tear at fore-edges; Very Good.