Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Semmes, Paul Jones (1815-1863) to Joseph E. Brown

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00508.02 Author/Creator: Semmes, Paul Jones (1815-1863) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 December 1860 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 24.5 x 18.8 cm.

A high-resolution version of this object is available for registered users. LOG IN

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC00508.02 Author/Creator: Semmes, Paul Jones (1815-1863) Place Written: New York, New York Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 December 1860 Pagination: 2 p. : docket ; 24.5 x 18.8 cm.

Summary of Content: Writes to the Governor of Georgia enclosing a contract made with Charles Hugh of Pittsburgh for six eight inch Columbiads, 300 solid shot, and 1500 shells. Advises that the guns will be inspected by a member of the U.S. ordnance corps. Informs that the guns weight 900 pounds each, the shot 65 pounds, and the shells, 50 pounds. Discusses the costs. States that these guns will be cast using the "Rodman patent." Remarks, "Such guns cannot be obtained at any other foundry in the U.S." Marked copy on docket. Addressed from the 5th Avenue Hotel, New York.

Background Information: Semmes was a Georgia banker and plantation owner who served as agent for the State of Georgia during the preparations for the Civil War. He served as colonel of the 2...nd Georgia in the Confederate Army at the outbreak of the war and was promoted to brigadier general in March 1862. He was assigned to a brigade in McLaws' division of Longstreet's corps fighting in Crampton's Gap, Sharpsburg, Fredericksburg, Salem Church, and Gettysburg, where he was mortally wounded.See More

People: Semmes, Paul Jones, 1815-1863
Brown, Joseph Emerson, 1821-1894

Historical Era: National Expansion and Reform, 1815-1860

Subjects: PatentMilitary HistoryCivil WarConfederate General or LeaderConfederate States of AmericaArtilleryAmmunitionIndustryContract

Sub Era:

Order a Copy Citation Guidelines for Online Resources