We specialize in Americana, especially manuscript materials. We offer manuscript letters and archives, diaries, journals, personal and business correspondence from the 17th century through the 20th.

  • Dramatic eyewitness account of Confederate General Earl Van Dorn’s early morning surprise attack on Holly Springs, Mississippi, the resulting capture by the narrator, a cotton buyer from Rhode Island, and the destruction at the Union supply hub
    Quarto, 10-pages, approximately 3000 words, old fold line with several separations along folds, but in very good, clean, and legible condition.
    An expansive autograph letter signed “Christopher”, to his father Simon H. Greene who owned a mill in Richmond, Thode Island (operating as Wm. R. Greene & Co., which became S. H. Greene & Sons in 1865). Christopher had been sent south to purchase cotton for the family business, and was quickly taken prisoner by Confederate cavalry, early in the morning of Saturday, December 20th, [mistakenly noted as the 19th in the letter], the day Confederate General Earl Van Dorn and his lightning cavalry, 3500 strong, surprised the Union troops in Holly Springs, capturing most of the 1500 Union soldiers stationed there and destroying at least  a million and a half dollars’ worth of U.S. supplies.  U.S. post commander Col. Robert C. Murphy was captured. Grant had twice warned Murphy that Van Dorn was headed his way but Murphy did nothing.   On a cotton buying trip to the South in late 1862, Greene met a colleague, Mr. Northrop, in St. Louis, traveling with him through Kentucky and Tennessee to Holly Springs – “over 120 miles through a heavy wooded country and just the kind of country for guerilla warfare”. Holly Springs was then an important supply depot for Union troops in the area south of Memphis. “We arrived without any interruption … [with] some $ 17,000 in money which… more >