1861 The Heber S. Thompson Civil War Baseball Farewell Letters (PSA)
Historically vital series of letters has amazing baseball and Civil War content, and each is from a member of the Yale Base Ball Club. These letters are to Heber S. Thompson, who left the Yale Base Ball Club to enlist in Lincoln's Army only scant days before graduation. These four letters are from his Yale teammates in an organized effort to thank him for his service to both his team AND the nation. Four days after the fall of Fort Sumter on April 13, 1861, he joined the Washington Artillerists of Pottsville, Pennsylvania, to march through Baltimore to protect the Capitol through a hail of stones, bricks, and clubs. Known as the "First Defenders" of the U.S. Civil War, they were greeted by President Lincoln, who shook every hand in the battalion, including that of Private Thompson. Later, Thompson attacked with General Sherman in Atlanta, was taken as a prisoner in Charleston, and ultimately became a major. Yes, he then graduated Yale and became President of the First Defender fraternity. 1) Bill Fuller: Talks of his "short stop" who "protected the Capitol." And discusses Thompson playing Civil War base ball at Fort Washington, which was more pleasant than fighting. 2) Peter Collier: Yale B.B.C. President makes sweeping patriotic gestures to both the War and the Game. He reminisces that he "Attended the birth, life and death of the Yale B.B.C." and that Thompson is a "most able champion." His "spirit of patriotism is a position you now occupy." 3) Henry R. Durfee: "If I had nothing to remember you by than the fact of your prompt response to the call of the country in its peril... I shall not soon forget our sharing the glories and disasters of the Yale Base Ball Club." 4) Charles Stanton Jr.: He recalls Thompson "vividly" as the short stop of the FIRST NINE of the Yale B.B.C. Furthermore, "The country has been transformed and one of our number was in the ranks." Stanton would serve in the Union Army in the Battle of Shelbyville against General Joseph Wheeler. Stanton was ultimately promoted to Brigadier General.All of the letters are brilliantly written, as by Yale seniors they should be. They are passionately flush with patriotism and the fear of both their own futures and of his. Civil War baseball material is incredibly rare, and this is one of the most important documents we have seen. This is unlike anything we have previously seen in all our decades in the hobby. PSA authenticated and comes with an LOA.