Card signature as Past Grand Commander of the Grand Commandery of Mississippi with place and date
(1834-1917) Born in Charleston, S.C., he graduated from West Point in 1857, and served under Colonel Albert Sidney Johnston, during the Utah expedition, 1857-58, and at Fort Walla Walla, Washington Territory, 1859-60. When Abraham Lincoln was elected president in 1860, he resigned his U.S. Army commission and returned home to Charleston. In March 1861, he was commissioned captain in the Provisional Confederate Army, and aide-de-camp to General P.G.T. Beauregard. He was one of those who received the formal surrender of Major Robert Anderson at Fort Sumter, and raised the first Confederate flag, and posted the first guards at Fort Sumter. He was then sent to the Confederate capital, at Montgomery, Ala., to present to the Confederate Congress, the first Confederate flag that had been struck by enemy fire during the battle for Fort Sumter. Still serving on General Beauregard's staff at the start of the battle of Shiloh, he was given command of a brigade. He also commanded this brigade in the Vicksburg campaign where he helped to stop the attacks of General William T. Sherman, and Admiral David D. Porter. He was promoted to brigadier general to rank from July 23, 1863. During Sherman's March to the Sea, his cavalry force harassed the flanks of the Union army. When within a few miles of Savannah, he left his horses on the South Carolina side of the river, and after swimming it, entered Savannah with his men as infantry, covering the rear of General Hardee's army during their evacuation of the city. He escorted the fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis from Charlotte into Georgia where his command was disbanded. After the war Ferguson settled in Greenville, Mississippi, where he studied law, and was admitted to the bar. He served as president of the board of the Mississippi levee commissioners for several years, and in 1885 was appointed by President Chester Arthur to the Mississippi River Commission.
Card Signature With Place and Date: 3 1/4 x 2, in ink, Samuel Wragg Ferguson, P.[ast] G.[rand] C.[ommander], Grand Commandery of Mississippi, Biloxi, May 11, 1915. Very fine.