Let the Bearer
Original Author: Union Army
Created: 1861
Medium: Military pass

Let the Bearer, … Pass the Guard.

This Civil War–era pass, intended to allow a Union soldier to move beyond a guard patrolling an area, is part of the collection of John Hartwell Cocke's papers at the University of Virginia. The handwritten caption at bottom reads, "Yankee card taken from the camp of their Army after the battle of 21st July—" The battle referred to is the First Battle of Manassas, fought on July 21, 1861. Cocke's son, Philip St. George Cocke, served as a Confederate colonel during the battle that day and perhaps picked up this pass in the aftermath. The younger Cocke felt aggrieved when he was not sufficiently praised for his actions during the fighting; less than six months later he committed suicide.

Citation: John Hartwell Cocke Papers, 1725–1931, Accession #640. Special Collections, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.