AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED, FROM FLORIDA CONFEDERATE CONGRESSMAN R.B. HILTON, TO CONFEDERATE PRESIDENT JEFFERSON DAVIS, RICHMOND, SEPTEMBER 1, 1862; PLUS, ON ITS VERSO, TWO OTHER MANUSCRIPT DOCUMENTS:  DAVIS'S REFERRAL, PERHAPS IN HIS HAND, SIGNED 'J.D.', TO THE SECRETARY OF WAR, REGARDING A COMMUNICATION FROM THE TALLAHASSEE GUARDS;  OPINION OF GEORGE WYTHE RANDOLPH, THOMAS JEFFERSON'S GRANDSON, AS CONFEDERATE SECRETARY OF WAR RESPONDING TO DAVIS'S REQUEST. [Recto]: "HIS EXCY. PRESIDENT DAVIS: / SIR: / THE ENCLOSED COMMUNICATION, FROM MEN WHO HAVE DONE GALANT [sic] SERVICE HAS BEEN FORWARDED TO ME TO BE PRESENTED TO YOUR EXCELLENCY - I HOPE IT MAY RECEIVE RESPECTFUL CONSIDERATIONS AND EVEN FAVORABLE ACTIONS./ VERY RESPECTFULLY YR. OBT. SEVT. R.B. HILTON, REP. FROM FLORIDA." On verso [as docketed]: "HON. R.B. HILTON/ M.C. FROM FLORIDA/ RICHMOND SEPT. 1, 1862/ ENCLOSED LETTER FROM TALLAHASSEE GUARDS." [On verso, Davis's reference to the Secretary of War]: "SECY. OF WAR FOR ATTENTION. AS A 12 MOS. COMPANY REORGANIZED THE CLAIM TO ELECT AS SET FORTH SEEMS TO BE WELL FOUNDED. IF THE STATEMENT IS FOUND CORRECT IT WOULD BE BETTER TO GET ANOTHER CO. TO COMPLETE THE REGT. ONE TENDERED FOR THE WAR WOULD NOT PRESENT THE DIFFICULTY. J.D." [On verso, Randolph's response]: "RESPECTFULLY RETURNED THE PRESIDENT. IT IS BELIEVED THAT ALL OF THE COS. OCCUPY THE SAME POSITION NO AUTHORITY HAVING BEEN GRANTED TO RAISE NEW COS. THE PETITIONERS HAVE FALLEN INTO THE MISTAKE OF SUPPOSING THAT OFFICERS ARE ONLY APPOINTED FOR CONSCRIPTS WHEN IN FACT THE LAW AUTHORIZING THE APPOINTMENT OF FIELD OFFICERS IS ONLY APPLICABLE TO VOLUNTEERS. GENL FINEGAN HAS BEEN DIRECTED IN NOMINATING FIELD OFFICERS TO CONSULT AS FAR AS PRACTICABLE THE WISHES OF THE REGT. G.W. RANDOLPH." [In pencil]: "Ans- J.D."
[Richmond: 1862]. 5" x 8", lined paper. Completely in manuscript, two folds. Very thin remnant of paper and glue along one edge from apparently having been glued down previously [a handful of letters only slightly affected]. The middle portion of the verso contains Davis's referral to Randolph, reciting the "enclosed communication" of the Tallahassee Guards. The left portion of the verso contains Randolph's response. Minor toning. Very Good.
The Tallahassee Guards, a Leon County militia, were mustered into the 2nd Florida Cavalry in May, 1862, and stationed near Shell Point under Captain Peres B. Brokaw, probably to guard the salt works and fisheries. This cavalry unit officially organized as part of the Districts of East and Middle Florida of the Department of South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, in December 1862. Joseph Finegan [1814-1885], a member of Florida's Secession Convention, was commissioned Brigadier General in April 1862 in charge of the Districts of East and Middle Florida
Robert Benjamin Hilton [1821-1894] was appointed Captain of Company D, First Florida Infantry in April, 1861. He was Florida's Congressman in the First and Second Confederate Congresses. George W. Randolph [1818-1867], Thomas Jefferson's youngest grandson, was Confederate Secretary of War when he responded in this Letter. Item #33439