An assortment of 108 letters from the personal collection of one of the top collectors and dealers of Civil War memorabilia will be delivered to new homes in Heritage Auctions
' Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Auction Dec 6.
Calvin Packard has been a collector of Civil War letters and documents who has amassed an extraordinary collection over more than half a century. After 35 years as a teacher in Ohio, Packard began his new chapter as a full-time dealer of Civil War memorabilia in 2007.
"We are thrilled to offer a 'Chronological Walk Through the Civil War' as told by the personal 'Civil War Battlefield Collection' of Calvin Packard," Heritage Auctions Americana Director Curtis Lindner said. "When he transitioned out of teaching, he had the opportunity to pursue his passion for Civil War materials full-time. He is a fixture at all of the Civil War shows around the country, and has assembled some of the finest materials available."
Among the highlights in the Calvin Packard collection:
A two-page Confederate Lt. General Thomas J. Jackson: Writes to Gen. Robert E. Lee April 16th 1863, including Lee's response (estimate: $40,000+) is arguably the finest letter from Jackson to hit the market in the last decade. According to the book They Called Him Stonewall (on page 271), "On Robertson's orders, Colonel W. E. ('Grumble') Jones had taken his Seventh Virginia troopers toward the Rapidan River and had run into Federal Cavalry at the village of Orange. Jones was wounded and his men were roughly handled, with ten dead and fifty captured. Robertson had offered no support. Jackson asked Lee to remove Robertson from his command and to replace him with Jones." General Lee did not know a lot about Jones and he sent a message to Jackson through Major Talcott asking for Jones' military qualifications ... thus the purpose of Jackson's letter to Lee. In the response, Lee seems reluctant to replace Jones, saying, "it is the farthest from my wish to bias or influence the judgement of the Senate whose desire I believe it to be to do Justice to everyone. I consider Genl. W. E. Jones to be a meritorious officer, against whose character I know nothing."
An Appomattox Court House Parole: One of the most desired Civil War documents. This example for a Confederate soldier in the famed Richmond Howitzers (estimate: $4,000+) is one of the most desired Civil War documents. The offered parole is made out to Private C.T. Palmer, who enlisted June 26, 1861, at Yorktown, Va., into the 2nd Company of the Richmond Howitzers Light Artillery, with which he fought all four years, surrendering at Appomattox Court House.
Written from "First Division Hospital Gettysburg Adams Co. Pa., July 10th, 1863," The Battle of Gettysburg - a Union account: Letter written by George Esterbrook, 2nd Wisconsin Infantry, "Iron Brigade" (estimate: $3,600) is an extremely rare letter from the 2nd Wisconsin, the regiment that had the greatest proportional losses of any regiment or brigade in the Federal Arm, much less an example from one of its wounded members at Gettysburg. In this letter, George J. Esterbrook, of Onalaska, Wisc., describes the marching column at Gettysburg and the subsequent opposing volley that cost the 2nd Wisconsin more than 30 percent of its manpower.