2024-01 Raynors Americana Auction
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/20/2024
Confederate soldier's self covering 3pp. letter is written by Augustine Thomas Smythe (1842-1914), first served in SC College Company of the 25th militia, then became the Chief 'Lookout' stationed in a church steeple, and finally he served on the CSS Palmetto State. His letters were used as a basis of the book, "Days of Destruction: Augustine Thomas Smythe and the Civil War Siege of Charleston", chronicle the events of the siege of Charleston, South Carolina, through a collection of letters written by Augustine Thomas Smythe. After a baptism in blood at the Battle of Secessionville, South Carolina, Smythe was assigned to the Confederate Signal Corps. He served on the ironclad CSS Palmetto State and then occupied a post high above Charleston in the steeple of St. Michael's Episcopal Church. From behind a telescope in his lofty perch, he observed the fierce attacks on Fort Sumter, the effects of the unrelenting shelling of the city by enemy guns at Morris Island, and the naval battles and operations in the harbor, including the actions of the Confederate torpedo boats and the H. L. Hunley submarine. The Confederate Signal Corps played a vital role in the defense of Charleston and its environs, and Smythe's letters, perhaps more than any other first-person account, detail the daily life and service experiences of signalmen in and around the city during the war. For more than eighteen months, Smythe's neighborhood south of Broad Street, one of the city's oldest and wealthiest communities, was abandoned by the great majority of its residents. His letters provide the reader with an almost post-apocalyptic perspective of the oftentimes quiet, and frequently lawless, street where he lived before and during the siege of Charleston. ALS, "Augustine T(homas) Smythe" datelined CSS Palmetto State, Nov. 22, 1863. In part, "You asked me to let you know the whereabouts of the Calhoun Guard. They were .. encamped as garrison to the Battery at White Point Garden, then to Morris Island ... they relieved the regulars in Fort Sumter & were there .. to repulse the attack of the Yankees on the Fort. ... In every engagement which they have been in, they have added new laurels ... The Yankees keep up continual shelling, but I think their efforts will all end up there. They have no idea of trying to run into the harbor ..."
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Smythe’s Letters Were Used as the Basis For the Book, Days of Destruction: Augustine Thomas Smythe and the Civil War Siege of Charleston”

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Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $200.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $292.50
Estimate: $300 - $500
Auction closed on Sunday, January 21, 2024.
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