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Sale 72: Gems of Philately

Table of Contents

United States Postal History

Lot 1

(Mexican - American War) Major Archive of Military Life in Mexican War, archive consists of 9 long letters from Members of the Anson County, North Carolina Volunteers covering the critical period of March 1847 to March 1848, totaling 23 pages and approximately. 6,000 words, seven are dated and postmarked with varying types of "Brazos" straightlines; one has a light New Orleans cds, and one was hand carried, the 8 postmarked letters have matching "10" rate markers, seven of the letters are from William Ross Allen Jr., one from John Ballard, and one from Alexander Birmingham, all three men were members of Company c of the Anson County Vols. under the command of Captain Martin Shine, written to their friends and relatives back in Wadesboro or in the care of the Beverly Post Office in North Carolina, the letters are in nice condition, complete with primitive spelling and grammar, the Anson County Volunteers of Company C were primarily assigned to escorting supply wagon trains, but these letters give a vivid account of camp life during several important battles including Buena Vista and Cerro Gordo, disease and contaminated water took their toll on the troops, and discontent with the lack of pay created tensions in the camps, Very Fine and interesting.
Estimate    $7,500 - 10,000.

An example of the archive, the first letter March 16th 1847 from William R. Allen reports on his 17 day ocean voyage from Smithville to Brazos, Santiago, stating that "…they was one man that died on the water one of Yancy Company by the name of Currer. He was buryed in the ocean and on the day we landed they was one of the men kild by a rod of iron that broke on top of mast and struck him on the head and split his open - he died in short time…" He goes on to describe the perils of the trip, the bad water on board, and the mistreatment of the volunteers. He then suddenly talks about the first major battle of the War, known as the Battle of Buena Vista. On February 22, 1847, Santa Anna with 20,000 men, marched north to fight General Zachary Taylor. Entrenched in the Buena Vista Pass with but 4,600 men, Taylor was attacked by a force of about 15,000 men after refusing to surrender. Allen describes the events, "…Now I must tell you some thing about the great battle that took place at Santilio (Saltillo was a city southwest to Monterrey that Talor had occupied). They was about 7 thousand marines killed and one thousand americans killed. The Mexicans force was double the amount of americans. I have thought I have seen a great many waggons in Ceraw but that was nothing. They is one thousand and fifty at this place and five mules to a wagon. You can make a calkerlation and tell the amount and about five hundred yokes of oxens - it is amazing to see them all…". A full description of the archive has been made and is available on our website.

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