Raynors 2020-05 Putnal
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 5/30/2020
Rare war-date Confederate, "Petition in regard to Capt. F. B. Gurley 4th Ala. Cav.", 1p. 4to., ca. 1863, written by M. S. Royce, as escaped Rebel POW, concerning the case of his former cell-mate, Capt. Frank B. Gurley, in the North's effort to execute Capt. Gurley for the murder of General McCook, reading, in small part: "Capt. Gurley is now a prisoner at Nashville (or was…when the undersigned escaped from prison). He was confined in a cell for sixty-eight days and allowed only about one hour a day for exercise and was put upon trial for the killing of Genl. McCook. He was obliged to employ counsel to defend himself…the evidence…completely exonerated him of anything like murder…the argument of his counsel was a complete vindication of his right as a soldier and as an officer to do all that he did in bringing Genl. McCook to his death. When the trial was nearly ended four communications by flag of truce were sent to the court and were…read. One from Lt. Col. Hambrick, one from Genl. Forrest, one from Genl. Hardee and one from Genl. Johnston…from the time those communications were read…Capt. Gurley was released from the cell and placed in the room where other Confederate officers were quartered and received from that time the same treatment which other officers received. It is the belief of Capt. Gurley that the Federal authorities do not intend to communicate…the result of the trial; that they are afraid to punish him lest retaliation should follow and unwilling to exchange him…if an effort were to be made by the Confederate Commission of Exchange to have Capt. Gurley exchanged the Federal authorities would immediately send him forward…as a friend of Capt. Gurley [I] respectfully request General Johnston to use his influence in procuring the exchange of Capt. Gurley…M. S. Royce." Union Brigadier General Robert Latimer McCook was mortally wounded by Confederate troopers while riding in an ambulance (sick) on the road between Hazel Green, Alabama and Winchester, Tenn. on August 5, 1862. His brigade was several miles to the rear while he with a small escort was seeking an appropriate camp ground for his weary troops. McCook's brigade was outraged by what they believed to be a cold-blooded murder of a defenseless, much-loved general and quickly took revenge on local civilians. They burned and looted private property, shot a Confederate lieutenant who was home on furlough, and hung several men believed to be Confederate guerrillas. Captain Frank Gurley of the 4th Alabama Cavalry was fingered as the man who fired the fatal shot. Harper's Weekly and Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper were filled with artwork that fanned the flames of controversy that guerrillas or lawless Confederate cavalrymen were to blame for the general's death. Gurley was captured and imprisoned at Nashville where a Union military court tried him for murder. After aforementioned letters from prominent Confederate generals were received by the court, stating Gurley was a legitimate officer with the 4th Alabama Cavalry, he was found guilty of murder on January 11, 1864 and sentenced him to death. Union General Thomas suspended the execution but Gurley remained a POW until he was accidentally released during a prisoner exchange. After the war, President Andrew Johnson had Gurley re-arrested and the death sentence reinstated. When again Gurley's friends intervened and warned Johnson that violence would erupt if Gurley was executed. General U. S. Grant urged Johnson to release Gurley and eventually Federal authorities decided McCook's death was "one of the fortunes of war" and paroled Gurley. Negligible paper loss, else VG.
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Union General McCook's Murderer Is Defended By His Former Cell-Mate Escapee

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $400.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $500.00
Estimate: $800 - $1,200
Auction closed on Saturday, May 30, 2020.
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