20th Maine Commander Ellis Spear War Date Autograph Note Signed


Superb and exceedingly rare War dated battlefield note in pencil, 1 page, both sides. Written by Major Ellis Spear of the 20th Maine, scribbled during the Battle of Cold Harbor in 1864. The note was written at Bethesda Church, but not during the battle that took place on May 30th. The date of this letter would be June 3rd, during the Battle of Cold Harbor. In Spear’s diary, he wrote on June 3rd, “Bethesda Church Woke early. Enemy enfiladed our line from the left. The line faced north & west making a right angle. The right of our brigade. Sweitzer’s swung around to the left & connected with Burnside. Lost heavily. Placed in charge of Brigade picket. Enemy advanced & pushed back the line slightly but I sent for reinforcements & regained the line”. The note also lists 3rd Brigade, which was Bartlett’s brigade. With it is an original CDV photo of him taken from his personal album. Overall fine condition with scattered soiling and folds. 

The document reads in full:


I have the honor to report that the right of my line was forced back by strong supports of the enemy. The skirmishers of the first Mich. & 22nd Mass. (now in front of the 18th Mass.) came in. I have advanced and recovered the ground. Lieut. Richards in resp. your obdt svt (obedient servant) Ellis Spear, Maj Comdg. Picket.”

This piece has been beautifully and archivally framed using Mahogany Wood and double sided glass. Overall size is 15.5″ X 12.” Spear played a pivotal role in commanding the extreme left of the 20th Maine line at Little Round Top, Gettysburg, repulsing repeated attacks by the 15th Alabama. He was also present during Lee’s surrender at Appomattox and many other battles. A truly special and rare piece indeed.









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