PRINTED BERRYVILLE “CIRCULAR” REQUESTING INFORMATION FOR A LAUREL BRIGADE HISTORY WITH HAND WRITTEN PERSONAL REQUEST ON BACK

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Item Code: 801-563

This document measures 8” x 10” and is a “Circular” consisting of three printed pages seeking details, especially at the company and individual level, from members of the Laurel Brigade for the purpose of preparing a history of the brigade. The circular begins with, “Berryville, Clarke County, Va. Dear Sirs: At the request of General Rosser and others I have been for sometime engaged in preparing a history of the LAUREL BRIGADE.” The following pages go on asking for specific memories of events and names of members in the unit. The third page contains “A list of principal engagements of the ‘Laurel Brigade’ --  from Kernstown to Appomattox.”

The back page of the document, which was blank, was then used by the author to send a personal hand written request to a “Geo. W. Engle, esq.” Written in pen & ink, the request is clear and the hand writing is easy to read. The note is dated May 13, 1889 from Berryville, Va.  The addressee was George Washington Engle who served in the 7th and 12th Virginia Cavalry. He is also listed as being a member of the Jefferson Guards who were detailed to escort John Brown from the jail to the court house during the trail in 1859. He died in 1895 and is buried in Charlestown, WV.

The author of this circular, the hand written note on the back, and what would become a published book entitled “A History of the Laurel Brigade: Originally the Ashby Cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia and Chew’s Battery” was William N. McDonald. He served throughout the entire war and was a member of several Virginia Cavalry regiments and later the brigade ordnance officer.  There are extensive details regarding his service on the online Civil War Database. He died in 1898 and is buried in Berryville, VA.

The document is in overall good condition; no tears or holes. It has been folded several times and the front has some soiling. There is pencil “hand writing” on several pages.  This is an interesting document relating the published history of a famous Confederate unit.  [jet]

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