24 June 1861: “I have received your letter of the 19th inst. in relation to the appointment of Col. D.H. Hill as Brigadier General…”

Item description: North Carolina Governor John Ellis’ copy of a letter from Jefferson Davis to Warren Winslow (an aid to the ailing Gov. Ellis and chairman to the newly-created Military and Naval Board of North Carolina). This letter concerns the promotion of Col. D.H. (Daniel Harvey) Hill to brigadier general, coming only a few weeks after Hill led the 1st North Carolina Infantry Regiment to victory in the Battle of Bethel Church (on 10 June 1861).

The letter seems to suggest that Ellis wrote to Davis, through Winslow, to put forth Hill’s name for promotion. Davis responds to Winslow, copying Ellis with this letter, to say that he will forward the matter on to Confederate Secretary of War LeRoy Pope Walker for consideration. Col. D. H. Hill was promoted to brigadier general on 10 July 1861.

It is not known if the letter is in Jefferson Davis’ own hand. What do you think: is this an “authentic” Jefferson Davis letter? Does a copy, perhaps penned by a subordinate, qualify as “authentic”?

Item citation: From folder 11 of the John Willis Ellis Papers, #242, Southern Historical Collection, The Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.


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