to Richmond, Virginia
Mailed to Captain Will O. Crutcher of the "King Cotton Guards" of Mississippi
War date, Confederate cover, addressed to Captain Will O. Crutcher, King Cotton Guards, Box No. 1041, Richmond, Virginia, with Nov. 20, Vicksburg, Miss., double circle postmark and matching PAID 10 stamped in black. The envelope measures 5 3/8 x 2 3/8. Scarce. Very desirable war date Confederate Vicksburg cover.
William O. Crutcher was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi, on September 8, 1838. He enlisted in the Confederate Army on May 6, 1861, at Vicksburg, and was elected captain of a Warren County infantry company called the "King Cotton Guards." The "King Cotton Guards" were attached to the Second Battalion, Mississippi Infantry, at Jackson, Mississippi, on October 16, 1861 by an order issued from the Confederate War Department. While stationed at Fredericksburg, Virginia in November 1862, they were joined with other small units and re-designated the 48th Mississippi Infantry Regiment, the "King Cotton Guards" comprising Company E. Fighting under General Robert E. Lee in his immortal Army of Northern Virginia, Captain Crutcher, and the "King Cotton Guards" distinguished themselves in the bloody battles of Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg and Cold Harbor. Captain Crutcher would also endure the dangers and privations of the Petersburg & Appomattox campaigns, and surrender with General Lee's Army at Appomattox Court House, on April 9, 1865. Returning home to his native Vicksburg to try and pick up the pieces of his broken life, Crutcher died on November 29, 1866, in Vicksburg. He is buried in Cedar Hill Cemetery in that city.
WBTS Trivia: The 48th Mississippi Infantry had 10 men killed and 44 wounded at Fredericksburg, and 31 out of the 256 engaged in the battle of Gettysburg were disabled. This hard fought regiment surrendered at Appomattox with 11 officers and 87 men, Captain William O. Crutcher among them.
Vicksburg, Mississippi, located atop a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, and thought to be impregnable by the assault of Union forces, was surrendered on July 4, 1863, after a 47 day siege specifically intended to starve the city into submission. This victory gave the Federals complete control of the Mississippi River.
The Confederate forces were commanded by General John C. Pemberton, and the Union forces by General Ulysses S. Grant.