ENVELOPE ADDRESSED BY LEE TO A GENERAL’S DAUGHTER WITH A WARTIME VANNERSON AND JONES CDV

$2,500.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1176-02

This is a nice example of the classic 1864 Vannerson and Jones vignetted bust portrait of Lee in uniform that comes in an envelope sent by Lee to the daughter of a fellow Virginian and Confederate general. The envelope is addressed in Lee’s hand: “Miss Annie Wickham / Care of Genl. Wms. C. Wickham / near Hanover Ct. House / Virginia.” The envelope is torn along the upper edge but preserves a clear circular cancellation stamp reading, “Richmond/ MAY 23 / VA” with no year visible, at upper right along with some glue residue from a stamp. A more precise address was hardly necessary: the family was prominent and lived on the family estate Hickory Hill in Hanover County. The date was certainly May 1865. Among other things, Lee was rather too busy fighting Grant in May 1864 to have been mailing anything from Richmond.

That dating of the envelope fits the likely date of the CDV, which is backmarked, "Vannerson & Jones, / Photographic Artists, / No. 77 Main St., / Richmond, Va." in foliate cartouche and bears no tax stamp, indicating it was made before the city fell under Federal control in April 1865. The firm name also backs that up. Julian Vannerson partnered with Charles E. Jones to establish the photographic studio of Vannerson & Jones in 1861. Vannerson bought out Jones in 1866 and sold the studio in 1869 to John and William Davies, who renamed it the Lee Gallery. The photo is in very good condition, though someone during the period added on the reverse, “Gel. [sic] R E Lee” in pencil at top, and “Gen. Robert E. Lee / Confederacy / 1864” just below.

“Miss Annie Wickham” was Anne Carter Wickam (1851-1939,) daughter of General Williams Carter Wickham and Lucy Penn Taylor Wickham. General Wickham (1820-1888) was reared at Hickory Hill, graduated UVA, and was admitted to the bar in 1842. He was a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and presiding Justice on the Hanover County Court, elected a state senator in 1859, and was a delegate to the state’s 1861 convention where he voted against secession. Nevertheless, as a militia cavalry captain he led his Hanover Dragoons into the Confederate army, was commissioned Colonel of the 4th Virginia Cavalry and was twice wounded- at Williamsburg and again at Antietam. He fought at Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and other engagements and was promoted Brigadier General in September 1863. He resigned his commission in October 1864 and returned to the Confederate Congress, filling a seat to which he had been elected in Spring 1863. He was active in business and politics after the war, serving as President of the Virginia Central Railroad and then Vice President of the C&O Railroad after a company merger, was Chairman of the Hanover County Board of Supervisors, and also served as a state senator.

Slight foxing and stains as shown. Otherwise a very good example of a memento sent by Lee to a young admirer. We show views of Gen. Wickham and young Annie from online sources.  [jet] [PH:L]

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