ASHEVILLE, N.C. – The four lots consigned by the last remaining descendant of a young Civil War officer were, quite possibly, the most personal in Brunk Auctions July 16-17 sale. Richard Kidder Meade Jr. (1835-1862) was a U.S. Army lieutenant during the Confederate bombardment of Fort Sumter, April 12-13, 1861. Two weeks later, Meade, a native Virginian, resigned his commission and joined the Confederate Army. The young officer died of typhoid fever on July 31, 1862.
Included in the Meade collection was a handwritten condolence letter from Lee to Meade’s mother expressing his sorrow at “the untimely death of your gallant Son,” a man [Gen. Robert E.] Lee called a “noble young patriot.” The one-page signed letter dated Aug. 9, 1862, sold for $15,600 (est. $4000-$8000). ...
“It was very difficult to part with these items,” said the consignor after the sale. She is the last of the family line. “I tried last summer to put them up for sale, but couldn’t do it. This summer I thought this is the best way to reach people who would appreciate these objects.” She attended the sale with her husband and met the gentleman who purchased the family archive. “I can tell you she was surprised at the selling prices,” said her husband. ...
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