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Dunbar Autograph Book and Commissions


A gift from the estate of Edwin Sargent Dunbar, Jr., this extraordinary leather-bound autograph book contains signatures gathered from 1862 to 1916 by his great-grandfather, Captain G. Edwin Dunbar, including:

  • 50 Union generals including Sherman, Rosecrans, Hooker, Burnside, Meade, Custer, Sheridan, Kilpatrick, Wheeler, Thomas, Slocum, and Bragg
  • Presidents William Howard Taft, Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes
  • Admiral George Dewey
  • Celebrities of the time such as W.T. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, William Jennings Bryan, Helen Keller and actor Edwin Booth (brother of President Abraham Lincoln's assassin, John Wilkes Booth)
  • Confederate General J. B. Gordon

The book also contains a fragment of a star shot from the flag of the 13th Michigan Volunteer Infantry and the envelope that contained the final flag of truce letter from Gen. Joseph E. Johnston to General J. Kilpatrick, which was carried by Dunbar.

Also in the Dunbar Estate gift are two commissions. The first is that of his great-grandfather, our autograph collector, naming G. Edwin Dunbar as Assistant Regimental Quartermaster with the rank of Captain, dated March 1864, signed by President Abraham Lincoln and Secretary of War Edward Stanton.

The second is that of his great-great-grandfather; the New York State Ensign's Commission of John Dunbar, dated November 9, 1793, signed by Governor George Clinton and Secretary of State Louis A. Scott.

The signatures in this autograph book were collected from 1862 to 1916 by G. Edwin Dunbar, a Union Officer.  Dunbar served with the 13th Michigan Volunteer Cavalry under General T. J Wood, rising to the rank of Captain and Assistant Quartermaster, U. S. Volunteers.

As Chief Quartermaster of the Cavalry Command of the Army of Georgia under General Sherman, he went on the march to the sea, through Atlanta, the Carolinas and Virginia to Washington. Dunbar asked only Generals and important celebrities of the time to sign in his book.