PRESENTING AN HISTORIC AND EXCEPTIONALLY RARE AND IMPORTANT American Civil War Collection consisting of:
(1) ORIGINAL and FULLY AUTHENTIC Confederate Field Map of Richmond, VA 1864 belonging to Capt W.A. Obenchain C.S. Engineers,
(2) ORIGINAL and FULLY AUTHENTIC Surrender/Parole Paper for Capt. W.A. Obenchain dated 1st May 1865 at Greensboro, NC
(3) ORIGINAL and FULLY AUTHENTIC Pamphlet for Hillsborough Military Academy, NC with Major W.M. A. Obenchain listed as ‘Military Staff’.
These ALL belonged to Captain (later promoted to rank of Major) William Alexander Obenchain and the battlefield map, was his ‘personal’ field map for the Richmond Peninsula Campaign in 1864, at the end of the US Civil War.
It is a very large map, measuring 40.2 in (W) x 36.75 in (H) fully unfolded, but when folded, is a neat and portable/compact 6.5 in (H) x 5.25 in (W) 0.75 in (D).
It is a printed paper map, mounted on canvas.
” Chief Engineers Office D.N.V
Maj. Gen. J.F. Gilmer Chief Engineer.
the Vicinity of Richmond
and part of the
from surveys made
under the direction of A.H. Campbell, Capt. P.E.C.S.A.
In charge Topograph(l) Dep(t) D.N.V.
Scale 1/50000 (?)
Photographed in Off. Top. Dep.
Hand noted as:
“Approved April 26th 1864
Albert H. Campbell
Capt P. Engrs in charge”
What makes this Map EXTRAORDINARY is:
(1) It is a VERY, VERY RARE example of a Confederate Field Map that was actually printed. Nearly ALL other Confederate Maps were simply hand drawn.
(2) It is the personal Field Map of Capt. William Alexander Obenchain, who was a senior ranking officer in the Virginia Corps of Engineers and served on General Robert E. Lee’s Staff. His has personally signed it on the front of the folded canvas “Vicinity of Richmond, VA – Wm A. Obenchain, Capt C.S. Engineers, 1864”. We know that this is his signature and hand-writing, from comparison with other signatures of his, that we have in a large book collection from his Estate.
Specimen signature from Book Collection (for comparison):
(3) Richmond was the ‘Capital’ of the Confederacy and hugely symbolic and of strategic importance.
(4) Following their defeat at Petersburg, the Confederate government had left the city of Richmond, fleeing to Danville. The Army of Northern Virginia finally surrendered on April 9, 1865, at Appomattox Court House. The war would last a few weeks longer as other Confederate armies surrendered. The fall of Richmond signaled the end of the Confederacy.
(5) This map not only deals with the surrounding area of Richmond, but most of the Peninsula, including Petersburg and the Appomattox River in the bottom left. It is incredible in it’s detail of topography, roadways, supply lines, rivers, etc. The coloring appears to be hand colored.
(6) This map reflects the high status/position of it’s owner, AND.
(7) Would have been used in battle/combat by Capt. Obenchain during the Richmond Campaign in 1864, during a pivotal moment in the conclusion of the War.
As added provenance (and added value and bonus) , we are selling this map together with the original surrender/parole paper of Capt. W.A. Obenchain, who surrendered to General WT Sherman at Greensboro, NC on 1st May 1865.
The Surrender/Parole Paper reads:
“Greensboro, North Carolina
May 1st 1865
In accordance with the terms of the Military Convention, entered into on the twenty sixth day of April, 1865, between General Joseph E. Johnston, Commanding the Confederate Army, and Major General W.T. Sherman, Commanding the United States Army in North-Carolina,
Wm. A. Obenchain, Capt C.S. Engineers
Has given his solemn obligation not to take up arms against the Government of the United States until properly re-leased from this obligation; and is permitted to return to his home, not to be disturbed by the United States authorities so long as he observe this obligation and obey the laws in force where he may reside.
M Keartruff (?) Jno. Johnson (?)
G…. (?) Brig Gen ADA, USA Maj & Actg Chief Eng C.S.A.
Special Commissioner Commanding”
Attached to that surrender paper is another bonus, namely, an extremely rare and original pamphlet for the Hillsborough Military Academy from circa 1866, where the ‘now Major’, W.A. Obenchain is part of the Academic/Military Staff.
This Collection has remained in family ownership until now and has never been released to the general public …. UNTIL NOW!
In an interesting ‘twist’, we have an autograph of General William Tecumseh Sherman (listed/posted separately in this category) marked as owned by Mrs Obenchain, who was in fact, Eliza Calvert Hall (a renowned author from Bowling Green, KY) who was married to Major William Alexander Obenchain, who surrendered to General Sherman at Greensboro, North Carolina on the 1st May 1865.
THIS IS YOUR CHANCE TO OWN A VERY IMPORTANT PIECE OF US HISTORY!
THESE PIECES SHOULD REALLY BE IN A MUSEUM!
Richmond, Virginia served as the capital of the Confederate States of America during the American Civil War from May 8 1861, hitherto the capital had been Montgomery, Alabama. Notwithstanding its political status, it was a vital source of weapons and supplies for the war effort, as well as the terminus of five railroads, and as such would have been defended by the Confederate States Army at all costs.
The Union made many attempts to invade Richmond. In the Peninsula Campaign of 1862, General George McClellan moved up the James River, almost to the suburbs of the city, but was beaten back by Robert E. Lee in the Seven Days Battles. In 1864-5, General Ulysses S. Grant laid siege to nearby Petersburg. By April 1865, the Confederate government realized the siege was almost over and abandoned the city lest they be captured. The retreating Confederates chose to burn military supplies rather than let them fall into Union hands; the resulting fire destroyed much of central Richmond.
William Alexander Obenchain. Born April 27, 1841 at Buchanan, Botetourt Co., Virginia.
Parents: Thomas Jefferson Obenchain and Elizabeth Ann Sweetland.
Entered VMI on July 18, 1859 as a member of the VMI (Virginia Military Institute) Class of 1862 and was graduated (1st in his class) in December 1861–this class was graduated early due to the Civil War.
Served in various capacities as an Engineer officer throughout the Civil War. At rank of Captain he was a senior ranking officer in the Virginia Corps of Engineers and served on Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Staff.
He was promoted to the rank of Major, for meritorious conduct near Richmond in 1864.
Post-War Career- Educator.
Taught at Hillsborough Military Academy (NC), Pittsboro (NC) Military Academy, Western Military Acad. (New Castle, KY), University of Nashville, Ogden College, Bowling Green, KY.
Married Eliza Calvert Hall (famous Author) of Bowling Green in 1885.
Obenchain died August 17, 1916 at his home in Bowling Green, age 75.
DO NOT PROCRASTINATE ON THIS COLLECTION
….. IT WILL BE IN ‘HUGE’ DEMAND!
THE LEADING EXPERT ON AMERICAN HISTORICAL MEMORABILIA, WITH HERITAGE AUCTIONS, HAS SEEN THESE IN PERSON, WAS IN NO DOUBT OF THEIR AUTHENTICITY AND WAS ‘DROOLING’ AT THE PROSPECT OF HERITAGE SELLING THEM!
Important Confederate Civil War Field Map of Richmond VA 1864 – with original Surrender/Parole Paper and Rare 1866 Pamphlet for Hillsborough Military Academy) – 3 pieces in total.
Provenance: From the Estate of William Alexander Obenchain
Condition: Very good original condition. Some yellowing and fading of paper with age. Fold creases obvious on the 48 individual panels and some separation of paper from canvas backing at some fold marks. One or two water marks but nothing significant. The surrender paper and pamphlet are in very good condition. All stored in a plastic acid free bag with map folded.
Map: 40.2 in (W) x 36.75 in (H) fully unfolded, but when folded, is a neat and portable/compact 6.5 in (H) x 5.25 in (W) 0.75 in (D).
Surrender Paper: 7.5 in x 3 in
Pamphlet: 11.2 in x 8.4 in