Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

King, Rufus (1814-1876) to Edwin M. Stanton

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC05039 Author/Creator: King, Rufus (1814-1876) Place Written: Fredericksburg, Virginia Type: Autograph letter signed Date: June 26, 1862 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Writes from "Opposite Fredericksburg." Written by Brigadier General King as commander of a division under General Irving McDowell to Secretary of War Stanton. Says "A contraband has just arrived here, who left Louisa Court House, 35 miles, from this point, at Sundown, Today." The contraband reported that [General Robert S.] Ewell's and [General Stonewall] Jackson's Confederate troops, numbering 40-50,000, passed Louisa Court House on their way to Richmond, Virginia last Friday through Monday. They were leaving the mountains, except for some calvary troops, and looked worn out. Says "His own master was among them and got home Sunday night." The contraband said he left because "now that the Southern troops had fallen back, the people expected the Yankees to follow and were hurrying off all The young and able-bodied Negroes further South." Some doodles in pencil on verso; one is of a building. On headquarters letterhead, with a jagged right side. Includes a paper frame that was probably used as matting. 1 bust engraving of King included.

People: King, Rufus, 1817-1891.
Stanton, Edwin McMasters, 1814-1869.
Ewell, Richard Stoddert, 1817-1872.
Jackson, Stonewall, 1824-1863.
Jackson, Thomas Jonathan, 1824-1863.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union General, Union Forces, Confederate General or Leader, Confederate States of America, African American History, Contrabands, Slavery, Refugees

Sub Era: The American Civil War