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Extremely Rare Confederate Pass for a Mosby Ranger signed by Confederate General John Winder

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Item No. AR39675 Category


Confederate passes in general are quite rare much less one for a member of Mosby’s Ranger’s. Issued to James J. Williamson who would join the Mosby’s Rangers late in April, 1863. Williamson would go on to author the book “Mosby’s Rangers” post war. James would be employed in the Confederate printing office located in Richmond at the beginning of the war. Around July or August, 1862 he would move to Baltimore. This pass dates to that time giving him permission to visit Baltimore. He would then move to Washington D.C. Presumably for the purpose of working as a spy. He would be arrested while working in a book store there in January, 1863. Imprisoned at Old Capital Prison for 2 months before being sent to Model Farm Barracks Parole Camp late in March, 1863. The following month he would would join the 43rd Virginia Cavalry Battalion known as Mosby’s Rangers and serve with the battalion for the rest of the war taking part in numerous skirmishes and raids. James would surrender and take the oath at Washington D.C. on May 29, 1865. It is signed by Confederate General John Henry Winder who at the time the pass was issued was working at the Provost Marshall of Richmond. In November, 1864 he assumed the duties of commissary general of prisoners east of the Mississippi. Widely unpopular among Northern presses he would be ridiculed as deliberately starving Union prisoners. Widely unpopular among Richmond residents for his policing powers there and the north for treatment of prisoners under his command, the stress took it’s toll on his health resulting in large part to his death in February, 1865. Measures 7.5″ x 4″ and written on light blue lined paper. Extremely rare! Pass reads as follows..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Head Qrt. Dept. Henrico                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Richmond 29th July 1862                                                                                The Bearer James J. Williamson with his wife Mrs. Comelia Williamson and two children have permission to pass beyond the Confederate States to visit Baltimore subject to the military control of the Confederate States. By order of the Secretary of War.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Jn H. Winder

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