Captain Henry W. Sawyer Presentation Libby Prison Photo
Captain of the 1st N.J. Cavalry, captured at Brandy Station and sent to Libby prison in June 1863. In retaliation for the execution of two Confederate spies in Kentucky, Gen. John Winder ordered that lots be drawn and two Union prisoners be executed. Sawyer's name was drawn and in the 14 days he had to live, he wrote friends and family appealing for help. Lincoln intervened and Robert E. Lee's prisoner son was in turn threatened with execution. In the end, no prisoners were killed and Sawyer was actually exchanged for the young Lee. We offer an excellent signed photo, 4 ¾ x 3 ¾ b/w, a rare image of an occupied Libby Prison with horses, four men, and tyents in the foreground, with the notorious prison behind. An ornate ink notation at top reads: "Presented by Capt. H. W. Sawyer" and the photo is captioned beneath. Sawyer, whom we believe labeled the photo, has also signed the verso: "Most respectfully yours, H. W. Sawyer Capt. 1st N.J.C." We suspect Sawyer sent this photo with one of his please for assistance while condemned. It is certainly war-date as he mustered out as a major. Fine condition.

#P538 - Price $950