[Memphis, Tn. Aug. 16, [ 1861]. Broadside, 6 1/2 x 4 1/4 inches. Mild toning and edge wear, minor expert tape reinforcements on verso. Very good. Item #WRCAM54583
A very rare broadside extra of the MEMPHIS AVALANCHE, containing a telegraph dispatch from Richmond via New Orleans announcing a Confederate victory in the Western Virginia Campaign. The text of the handbill reads: "Important news from the West has been hourly looked for since the departure of Gen. Lee to assume command of the forces opposing Rosencranz. Last night and this morning the city was full of rumors that a battle had taken place. Reliable intelligence reached here to- day that a battle occurred at Leesburg, in which 300 of the enemy were killed, and the remaining 1500 taken prisoner. Loss on our side insignificant - six killed and nine wounded. All the arms, ammunition and baggage of the enemy were captured." The news of the battle at Leesburg was erroneous. False reports of battles never actually fought was a more common occurrence than one might think during the Civil War. This example stands, naturally, as one of the earliest examples of this type. We know of only one other copy of this very rare handbill, a much inferior copy sold at Swann in 2013 for $375. Unrecorded otherwise, with no copies in OCLC, and in none of the standard Confederate reference works.