CS Secretary of War James A. Seddon Writes on Official War Department Stationary - Topic: Blockade Running!

This LS (Letter Signed) is 1 ½ pages written in nice dark ink to “His Excellency M. L. Bonham Governor of South Carolina”.  The letter has to do with the authority of private shipping companies – in this case, The Importing and Exporting Company of South Carolina to run cotton and other goods through the Union blockade.  The state of South Carolina had its own rules and Seddon believed that the Confederate Congress was going to establish its own rules.  

Confederate States of America,
War Department,
Richmond, Va. Feb. 5, 1864

His Excellency M. L. Bonham,

Governor of South Carolina

Columbia, S.C.


           I have received your Excellency’s letter of the 19th of December and 27th of January last, enclosing a Resolution of the Legislature of South Carolina requesting the Confederate authorities to “forego the right heretofore exercised of shipping cotton and bringing freight on the boats owned by the Importing and Exporting Company of South Carolina, in consequence of the ownership by the State of a part of these boats.”

In reply I have the honor to say, that aresponse to the letter of December 19th was delayed, because the regulation of the exportation of cotton and other products was understood to be under the consideration of Congress, and it was believed in a brief period, legislation would be adopted, which would control the whole subject, and either dispense with the necessity of any arrangement on the part of the State, or express the conditions on which such arrangements should be made.  An Act, it is believed, has received the assent in its main features of both Houses, but has not yet been so passed as to become law.  So soon as it terms are announced, some definite understand can be had with you on behalf of your State.  Meantime, as  I explained to Mr. Furman, there is every disposition on my part to meet the wishes of your State, and that any vessel engaged by the State and carrying out for it the amount of cotton required by others to be carried out for the Department, would not be interfered with or restrained.

                     Very Respectfully,

      Your Obdt. Servt.

              James A. Seddon

              Secretary of War”


A nicely written letter with great content for the Confederate collector!

#HC78 - Price $695

Cropped to view: