GENERAL LLOYD TILGHMAN, CSA, PRE-CIVIL WAR AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED

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Item Code: 766-36

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From Lloyd Tilghman to R. P. Rowley. Dated “Steamer Irene/31 July” [1858]. 2 pp., in pencil, on light blue lined paper. Exhibits light yellowed fading along fold-marks, as well as interior chipping along fold marks. Pencil text clear and entirely legible, as is Tilghman’s signature. Else VG. In protective sleeve.

Text:

“Mr. Rowley/ I have preserved for you the position of swamp land Engineer from Gov. Conway—if you desire it--& my advice to you is to take it by all means/ Gov. Conway wishes you to go to Little Rock by the first Boat/ yr tryly/ Lloyd Tilghman.” Reverse: “R. P. Rowley/ Pine Bluff.”

This pre-war letter features two men who later to become prominent Confederate officers, and mentions a pre-war Governor of Arkansas, Elias N. Conway, 1852-60. The gist of the note is that Lloyd Tilghman has gotten young Mr. R.P. Rowley of Pine Bluff, AK, a position as Swamp Land Engineer on Governor Conway’s staff. If Rowley wants it, that is, and Tilghman advises him to take the position and to catch the first boat to Little Rock.

Lloyd Tilghman was a 1836 West Point Graduate who immediately resigned his commission to become a railroad construction engineer, returning to the army briefly during the Mexican War. Entering the Confederate Army in 1861, he inspected Forts Henry and Donelson, and was placed in command of the former, which he surrendered to U.S. Grant in February 1862, prior to Grant’s assault on Donelson. Exchanged as a prisoner in that fall, Tilghman returned to the army and fought at Corinth. Later, in the Battle of Baker’s Creek {Champion’s Hill] was killed by shrapnel, May 16, 1863. His body is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery, New York, NY.

After accepting Arkansas Governor Conway’s staff position, R. P. Rowley worked in that capacity for two years before enlisting in the Confederate Army, and soon after accepting a lieutenant’s commission in the Confederate Corps of Army Engineers, serving in various command and rising to the rank of colonel at the war’s end, which found in the Trans-Mississippi, charged as Chief Engineer of Texas, New Mexico and Arizona. Following the war, Col. Rowley returned to Arkansas, married and sired five children, serving in the state legislature, while residing on a Mississippi River plantation in Lonoke County, where he died in 1899.

Lloyd Tilghman ALS letters are extremely scarce. Confederate autograph aficionados take note.

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