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Lot # 850 (of 1807)   < Previous Lot | Next Lot >

1864 Abner Doubleday Handwritten Letter

Starting Bid - $500.00, Sold For - $1,303.50

One-page handwritten letter, dated "Washington D.C. Jany 15, 1864," signed by Abner Doubleday (1819-1893), Union general in the Civil War. In his brief letter, written to "Brig. Genl. Slough/Commanding at/Alexandria Va.," Doubleday writes: "General - I enclose copies of two orders received by me to be transmitted to you. I am Genl/Your Obedt Serv/A. Doubleday/Maj Genl." Both the text and signature have been scripted in black ink and grade "10." Doubleday, who had been in command at Gettysburg earlier in the year, and was wounded in battle there, was stationed in Washington, D.C., at the time of this letter, where he was relegated to administrative duties. Brigadier General John Potts Slough was a Union general who commanded the forces at the Battle of Glorieta Pass in 1862. Later that year he became the military governor of Alexandria, Virginia, a post he held for the remainder of the Civil War. This is the first Abner Doubleday handwritten letter we have ever offered and the fact that it dates from the Civil War makes it all the more appealing. Doubleday has always been one of the most interesting historical figures in United States history. He is credited by many as having fired the first shot at Fort Sumter during the Civil War, and later saw action in Fredericksburg and Gettysburg. Despite his military exploits, it wasn't until 1907 that his name became a household word. It was in that year that the Mills Commission named him the inventor of baseball. Despite all the evidence to the contrary, the myth still persists to this day. While most scholars agree that Doubleday did not invent the game of baseball, his name is still very much a part of baseball lore, especially in its connection to the Hall of Fame. Interestingly, when Doubleday passed away in 1893, his obituary described him as a man "who did not care for outdoor sports." The letter (7.5 x 9.25 inches) displays a tiny chip in the upper left corner, two horizontal mailing folds, and a few light surface wrinkles. In Excellent condition overall. LOA from James Spence/JSA. Reserve $500. Estimate $1,000+. SOLD FOR $1,303.50

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