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Rare Confederate South Carolina "Spartan Rifles" Cover Letter


Item No. AR38374 Category


Extremely rare Confederate cover letter addressed to Edward J. Dean of the South Carolina Palmetto Sharpshooters. The Palmetto Sharpshooters were organized near Richmond in April, 1862 from men from the 4th, 5th and 9th South Carolina Infantry under Colonel Micah Jenkins, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Walker and Major William Anderson. Assigned to Anderson’s Brigade, Longstreet’s Division, Magruder’s Command. They would have one hell of a fighting record beginning with the Battle of Williamsburg. Seven Pines, Gaine’s Mill, Malvern Hill, Manassas, South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg and the list goes on and on. They would serve until wars end surrendering at Appomattox to the 118th Pennsylvania Infantry. They would surrender 29 officers and 356 men. They would be the largest number of men still serving under their colors in the Army of Northern Virginia at the time of their surrender. The envelope is dated May 16th, 1862 and reads as follows

“Mr. Edward J. Dean,  Company “D” “Spartan Rifles” Jenkins Palmetto Regt. So Car Va. General Longstreets Division CSA, Richmond, Va. Care Captain John H. Evins”

Edward would initially enlist with the 5th South Carolina Infantry before mustering with Company K of the Palmetto Rifles in May, 1862. He would later transfer to Company D sometime in 1862. Records are scant for the regiment but he was still serving with the regiment in November, 1862. Following the November date his trail goes cold. I have not done further research on this one to see if he in fact survived the war. This one does have the 1861 Jefferson Davis 5 cent stamp still affixed to it. This stamp alone is valued at about $350 in used condition. Extremely rare cover letter from a great South Carolina unit!

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