Samuel Hawkins Marshall "marsh" Byers - Autograph Poem Signed 3/1886 For Sale
S.H.M. BYERS He has signed an 1886 autograph letter and penned his famous poem, "Sherman's March to the Sea," on verso. Autograph Poem, signed "S.H.M. Byers" in an Autograph Letter on verso, 2 pages (front and verso), 4¼x3½. He has handwritten the fifth and final stanza of his famous poem, introduced in an autograph letter on verso. [place illegible], Iowa, March 1886, in full: "On the opposite side of this is a verse of Sherman's March to the Sea, at your request. Yours very truly". Samuel Hawkins Marshall "Marsh" Byers was admitted to the Iowa Bar on June 16, 1861. Eight days later, he enlisted in the 5th Iowa Volunteer Infantry. Captured at Chattanooga in 1863, he served 16 months in Confederate prisons, escaping three times and being recaptured twice. (The third time, he hid out in a slave house until he could join General William Tecumseh Sherman's advancing Union army at Columbia, South Carolina.) While in Libby Prison, he learned of Sherman's triumphant march across Georgia, and wrote the poem he has penned again here. His fellow prisoners put the poem to music, and it was smuggled out in the wooden leg of an exchanged captive. By war's end, the poem had become famous throughout the North. Sherman put Byers on his staff, and said that the poem had given the name to his campaign. The Governor of Iowa brevetted Byers to Major. He later served as US Consul in Zurich, Switzerland, wrote two books about the Civil War, and also wrote the Iowa state song. Prior to his 1933 death, he was the last surviving member of the 5th Iowa Volunteers, and also the last surviving member of Sherman's staff. The ALS is boldly written, but partly obscured by mounting adhesive. The Autograph Poem is bold and clear. Lightly toned.
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Samuel Hawkins Marshall "marsh" Byers - Autograph Poem Signed 3/1886: $2,699