1864 Shenandoah Campaign Letter - Lt. Col. Cornelius W. Tolles to Col. Oliver Edwards at Winchester - Written Days Before Tolles was Mortally Wounded by Mosby's Men

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1864 Shenandoah Campaign Letter - Lt. Col. Cornelius W. Tolles to Col. Oliver Edwards at Winchester - Written Days Before Tolles was Mortally Wounded by Mosby's Men

189.99

Item No. 9177880

Offered here is an interesting Civil War letter written during the Shenandoah Valley Campaign of 1864. It was written on October 6, just weeks after the Battle of Third Winchester, and days before Sheridan’s victory at the Battle of Cedar Creek. The letter was written and signed by Lieutenant Colonel Cornelius W. Tolles, Chief Quartermaster for Sheridan’s Army of the Shenandoah, who would be wounded in an attack led by Captain A. E. Richards of Mosby’s Command just five days later on October 11 near Middletown, and would die of his wounds on November 8. Tolles wrote the letter to Colonel Oliver Edwards, a 6th Corps brigade commander in charge of federal forces at Winchester, Virginia. In the letter, Tolles warns Edwards that a large train of wagons cannot be fully supplied by the depot at Winchester. It reads, in full:

Martinsburg Oct 6/64

Colonel.
Capt. Melvin informs me that he passed the down train for Winchester this morning, & that it numbered some 500 wagons. This number is of course too great to be filled from the stock we have yet put into Winchester, & we cannot put more there until our teams have returned & been reloaded here. Say Sunday or Monday. I think best therefore that you should order each Corps represented in the train to load proportionally from the stores now in Winchester & start such loaded wagons to the front immediately. The others to come down here with the wagons which are to be returned here, & load up for another train.

Very Respectfully
Your Obt Svt
C W Tolly
Chief Q.M.

Col. Edwards

Briefly docketed on reverse.

The letter was written upon a stationery sheet measuring about 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. It is in very good condition with very little toning. Light wear to edges and corners. Creased where originally folded. There is slight separation at folds, extending from the edge no more than 2” in the worst case.

Further on the wounding of Tolles, General Seward wrote to General Stevenson on October 12, “Captain Alexander, assistant quartermaster, General Torbert’s staff, just from the front, reports that Lieutenant-Colonel Tolles, chief quartermaster, and Dr. Ohlenschlager, with an escort of 25 men, who started from Winchester for the front yesterday morning, were attacked by a party of guerrillas, various reported from 50 to 100, three miles this side of Middletown. Colonel Tolles and Dr. Ohlenschlager were both mortally wounded, the former in the head and the latter in the bowels; last report no hopes of their recovery. Four of the escort were killed and 5 or 6 wounded. Lieutenant Colonel Tolles and Dr. Ohlenschlager were taken to General Sheridan’s headquarters, which are now located one mile this side of Cedar Creek.”

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