I am researching the history of Danville arsenal explosion - April 1865.
Do you have more info about Major E. S. Hutter - from Lynchburg?
I hope you can help.
The volume is a copy of Vattel's Law of Nations: as edited by the great jurist Joseph Chitty and the copy in the possession of the local attorney is in most excellent preservation. It bears the incription, probably written by Judah P. Benjamin, "Confederate States, Department of State,: and was saved from the general desctruction of the secret archives of the Confederacy by Major E.S. Hutter who was Mr. Gibbes' father in law.
The circumstances were as follows: When the Confederate government withdrew from Richmond following the rumors, (then unconfirmed), of the surrender at Appomattox, the secret archives and a large portion of the law library and other appurtenances of the department of state were sent to Danville, Virginia, where Major Hutter was in charge and there stored in the government warehouses. As soon as the rumor of the final surrender was partially verified, Major Hutter received orders to destroy all the archives and, there being imminent danger of an immediate Federal attack, he went at night with a small force of faithful soldiers, poured kerosene oil over the entire contents of the storehousees and complied to the letter with his orders to destroy everything that might embarrass the friends of the Confederacy in both America and Europe. It is said that this act of Major Hutter's was one of the most vital of the dying days of the war of secession as it completely prevented disclosures that might have caused international complications of treamendous magnitude.....
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