Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Evander McIver Law, born August 7, 1836

Evander McIver Law was born in Darlington, in Darlington County, South Carolina. He was the first child and oldest son of eleven children born to Ezekiel Augustus Law, an attorney, judge and legislator, and Sarah Elizabeth “Bettie” McIver. His paternal grandfather, William Law, at the age of sixteen became a soldier in the Revolutionary armies. A maternal great-grandfather, Abel Kolb, fought in the American Revolutionary War under Francis Marion, the "Swamp Fox" guerilla leader. His maternal grandfather, E. R. McIver. was a prominent citizen of South Carolina; during the nullification troubles in the 1830s, he was commissioned as a Brigadier-General of South Carolina troops, when the state was threatening to leave the Union and raising an army. 

Darlington, Darlington County, South Carolina
Augustus and Bettie Law settled in Darlington in the 1820’s.  They built their home in 1834, two years before the birth of their son, McIver, as he was known in the family.

In January 1848, Bettie McIver Law wrote her sister in Tuskegee, Alabama, that her husband, "Mr. Law thinks he can serve the people if they will let him, in the Legislature, & is accordingly doing his best to get there." Her letter writing was interrupted by her children and, she informed her sister, "I must stop for the present.  McIver & Elma are punching me to help them with their lessons... Junius is begging to have his finger tied up, Gus crying out in his sleep & Johnny and the little one are fast asleep,"

McIver attended the South Carolina Military Academy (now The Citadel) and graduated in 1856.  During his senior year, he served as an assistant professor and as an instructor of Belles Lettres. 

He was 24 years old when the Civil War began.

South Carolina Military Acadmey in Charleston
Law was employed by Micah Jenkins and Asbury Coward, classmates from the South Carolina Military Academy, as a professor of history at Kings Mountain Military Academy in Yorkville, which they had founded.  He taught there for three years, from 1858 to 1860.  While teaching at the academy, he met Jane Elizabeth "Jennie" Latta, the daughter of a wealthy planter and railroad investor.

Kings Mountain Military Academy in Yorkville
In 1860 he moved to Tuskegee, Alabama where his uncle Cowan McIver lived. Family members from Darlington County paid frequent visits to Alabama in the decades before the Civil War. Law co-founded the Tuskegee Military School with Robert Parks. Both McIver and Junius were teaching at the school when Alabama seceded from the Union in January 1861. Junius joined the First Alabama Battalion of Artillery. McIver Law formed a unit of volunteers, comprised mostly of his students. He led his volunteer unit to Pensacola, Florida, where they participated in the seizure and occupation of Federal navy yards and mainland forts.

Following the fall of Fort Sumter in April 1861, they transferred to the Confederate States Army.  Law became a captain in the 4th Alabama Infantry, also known as the "Alabama Zouaves". The following month he was promoted to lieutenant colonel. 

Law as a Colonel
Two of his brothers also served as officers in the Confederate Army: Junius as a Colonel and John as a Captain. 

Barnard Bee
At the First Battle of Bull Run, also known as First Manassas, Law and his troops were in General Barnard Bee's brigade, and were the first to engage the enemy.  Despite suffering heavy losses on the field, they continually repulsed the Union’s advancement.  The colonel of his regiment was killed in action and Law was wounded in his left elbow. 

James Longstreet

Law recovered, although his left arm was stiff and almost useless, and returned to the regiment. He was promoted to colonel on October 28, 1861, and assumed command of what would become known as the "Alabama Brigade" under General James Longstreet in the Army of Northern Virginia in May 1862.

Law, front center, with his staff in 1862
His left arm was injured at the First Battle of Bull Run
General John Bell Hood took command of his own Texas Brigade and Law's Brigade (composed of the 4th AL, 2nd and 11th MS, and 6th NC).  

John Bell Hood
At the Battle of Gaines' Mill in June, his charge broke the Union’s center, earning commendations in General Jackson’s official report praising “the magnificent charge of Hood’s and Law’s brigades”.   They attacked in tandem again at the Battle of Malvern Hill four days later, but were defeated. 

Illustration of Battle of Gaines Mill, by Alfred Waud
Law was again wounded at the Second Battle of Bull Run, this time twice, but refused to leave the field or relinquish his command.  Their charge on August 29 captured 100 Union prisoners.
Confederate Dead at Antietam
In the Maryland Campaign, at the Battle of Antietam, Law's Brigade defended against the Union attack through the Cornfield at high cost—454 killed and wounded. 

Dunker's Chapel, Antietam Battlefield
Colonel Law's Official Report of October 2, 1862:
Late in the afternoon of the 16th, the enemy's skirmishers advanced into the woods in front of my position. They were held in check by my riflemen and the Texas skirmishers. In the mean time I was ordered by General Hood, commanding the division, to move forward and occupy the edge of the wood in which the skirmishing was going on. This was quickly accomplished, and the enemy was driven, at dark, to the farther side of the wood, toward the Antietam. My brigade was relieved during the night, and moved, with the rest of General Hood's command, to the wood in rear of Saint Mumma's Church (Dunkers' Chapel).
Soon after daylight on the 17th, the attack of the enemy commenced. The battle had lasted about an hour and a half, when I was ordered to move forward into the open field across the turnpike. On reaching the road, I found but few of our troops on the field, and these seemed to be in much confusion, but still opposing the advance of the enemy's dense masses with determination. Throwing the brigade at once into line of battle, facing northward, I gave the order to advance. The Texas Brigade, Colonel Wofford, had in the mean time come into line on my left, and the two brigades now moved forward together. The enemy, who had by this time advanced half-way across the field and had planted a heavy battery at the north end of it, began to give way before us, though in vastly superior force. The Fifth Texas Regiment (which had been sent over to my right) and the Fourth Alabama pushed into the wood in which the skirmishing had taken place the evening previous, and drove the enemy through and beyond it. The other regiments of my command continued steadily to advance in the open ground, driving the enemy in confusion from and beyond his guns. So far, we had been entirely successful and everything promised a decisive victory. It is true that strong support was needed to follow up our success, but this I expected every moment.
At this stage of the battle, a powerful Federal force (ten times our number) of fresh troops was thrown in our front. Our losses up to this time had been very heavy; the troops now confronting the enemy were insufficient to cover properly one-fourth of the line of battle; our ammunition was expended; the men had been fighting long and desperately and were exhausted from want of food and rest. Still, they held their ground, many of them using such ammunition as they could obtain from the bodies of our own and the enemy's dead and wounded.
It was evident that this state of affairs could not long continue. No support was at hand. To remain stationary or advance without it would have caused a useless butchery, and I adopted the only alternative-that of falling back to the wood from which I had first advanced. The enemy followed very slowly and cautiously. Under direction of General Hood I reformed my brigade in the rear of Saint Mumma's Church (Dunkers' Chapel), and, together with the Texas Brigade, which had also retired, again confronted the enemy, who seemed to hesitate to enter the wood. During this delay re-enforcements arrived, and the brigade was relieved for the purpose of obtaining ammunition.
At 1 p. m., having been supplied with ammunition, I was again ordered to the field, and took position in the wood near the church. Here the brigade remained, under an incessant cannonade, until near nightfall, when it was moved [one]half mile nearer the town of Sharpsburg, where it lay during the night and the following day.
The good conduct of my brigade in this battle had not been surpassed by it in any previous engagement. Weak and exhausted as they were, and fighting against fearful odds, the troops accomplished and endured all that was within the limits of human capacity.  Our loss in proportion to the numbers engaged was extremely heavy. 
Law was promoted to brigadier general on October 3, 1862, at the age of 26, the youngest brigadier general at that time.

The Law Brigade was assigned to General Hood’s division, then still part of Jackson’s Corps.  
Following the Battle of Fredericksburg, General Hood praised Law’s performance, saying, “as usual Brigadier‐General Law was conspicuous upon the field, acting with great gallantry, and had his horse killed under him while personally directing the movements of his brigade.”

Law married Jennie Latta on March 9, 1863 at the Law Plantation near Columbia, South Carolina.

Evander McIver Law
At the outbreak of the Battle of Gettysburg, Law and his brigade were serving on picket duty 30 miles away in New Guilford. After marching double‐time throughout the night in order to make it in time for the fighting on the second day, they arrived on the field around noon on July 2nd. 

View from Little Round Top
Illustration by Edwin Forbes
Upon his arrival on the field, Law sent scouts ahead to determine the enemy’s position and movements.  Law was informed that the union troops did not posses the Round Tops, as was believed to be the case.  Law, realizing that  the Round Tops were essential strategic defenses for the federal army, sent a courier to Hood conveying his thoughts.  Hood concurred but this was in direct opposition to General Lee’s plan of a frontal assault plan.  Hood passed the word along to his superior, Longstreet, who disregarded it on the grounds that it was not what General Lee had ordered.  Hood sent two more couriers, but Longstreet 
eventually sent a member of his staff to persuade Hood from any deviations in the plan.  

Little Round Top from Devil's Den

Twenty minutes after the division began to move, Hood was wounded, and was forced to leave the field.  Law took command of the division and began to make movements for the Round Tops, which sparked a chain reaction that  “embroiled much of the division in the struggle for Devil’s Den and culminated in the epic fight for Little Round Top”.  Longstreet failed to move his units into an attacking position quickly enough to ensure the frontal assault on the Union’s center, a failure often attributed to Law’s tardiness and 
“fixation on the round tops”. 

Confederate Dead at Devil's Den
Law’s position on the extreme right put him at the base of  Little Round Top, one of the notoriously bloodiest engagements in American history.  This struggle, which resulted in a Union’s bayonet charge, won the opposing officer, General Joshua Chamberlain, one of the country’s first Medals of Honor.  

On July 3, Law's men were at the extreme right of the Confederate line and defended against a suicidal cavalry attack made led by General Elon Farnsworth.  
Elon Farnsworth

Law also managed to save a large portion of the Army of Northern Virginia at the closing of the battle.  Realizing that Lee’s troops were exposed, Law personally relocated two regiments and an artillery unit in order to protect its retreat.  Witnessing this, General Benning would later write, “Lee’s baggage and rear were saved. There was nothing else to protect them; this was an exploit that excited my admiration. Never was anything better 

Law's Brigade Monument at GettysburgC. S. A.
Army of Northern Virginia
Longstreet's Corps Hood's Division
Law's Brigade
4th 15th 44th 47th 48th Alabama Infantry

July 2. Left New Guilford 25 miles distant at 3 A. M. Arrived and formed line 50 yards west of this about 4 P. M. and advanced against the Union positions. The 4th 15th and 47th Regiments attacked Little Round Top and continued the assault until dark. The 44th and 48th assisted in capturing Devil's Den and 3 guns of the 4th New York Battery.

July 3. Occupied the breastworks on west slope of Round Top. The 4th and 15th Regiments assisted at 5 P. M. in repulsing cavalry led by Brig. Gen. E. J. Farnsworth in Plum Run Valley.

July 5. About 5 A. M. began the march to Hagerstown Md.

Present about 1500 Losses about 550
Braxton Bragg
After Gettysburg, Longstreet's Corps was transported to the Western Theater to join General Braxton Bragg and the Army of Tennessee for the Battle of Chickamauga in September 1863. While Hood was present at Chickamauga, he served as a corps commander under Longstreet, who was acting as commander of a "wing" of the Army of Tennessee. As senior brigade commander, Law again acted as commander of Hood's division. On September 20, Hood's division, under Law, struck a gap in the Federal line and captured at least fifteen pieces of enemy artillery. Hood was severely wounded again that day, which resulted in the amputation of his leg. 

Confederate Troops Advancing at Chickamauga
Illustration by Alfred Waud
Following Gettysburg, Longstreet had believed Hood’s wound would be the end of his career, and began making arrangements for the promotion of a young favorite of his, the young Charlestonian, General Micah Jenkins. Jenkins was two months Law’s superior, having been promoted two months earlier than Law.  

Micah Jenkins
Law assumed command of the Hood division, for which Longstreet expressed his “admiration and satisfaction,” right before promoting Jenkins. At different times and places, Longstreet had promised both Law and Jenkins command of Hood's division, should that command billet ever open. Law had served in Hood's division since its organization, and had commanded it successfully at Gettysburg and Chickamauga. Jenkins was new to the division and had never commanded it, but his commission as a brigadier general pre-dated Law's. Considered one of the war's "boy generals", he was promoted to the rank of brigadier general on July 22, 1862, at the age of 26. When Jenkins's brigade was attached to Hood's division in September 1863, shortly after Chickamauga, Law had to turn command of Hood's division over to Jenkins.

Hood's division accompanied Bragg's army to the siege of Chattanooga. By late October 1863, Law's brigade was detached from Hood's division and the army, guarding Brown's Ferry over the Tennessee River in what is known as Lookout Valley. 

William Oates
While Law was on leave, visiting the wounded Hood, Jenkins stripped the defenses at Brown Ferry of over half the units, despite intelligence of enemy activity and pleas for reinforcements from Colonel William Oates, commanding the 15th Alabama Regiment, one of the two regiments still posted near Brown's Ferry. On October 24, 1863, Union troops forced a passage of Brown's Ferry and overwhelmed its defenders. A few days later, Federal reinforcements arrived at the other end of Lookout Valley, at Wauhatchie Station. The arrival of these fresh Federal troops, combined with the Federal possession of Brown's Ferry, enabled General Ulysses Grant to open his "cracker line" and feed his starving troops in Chattanooga.

Confederate Gen. Bragg recognized that the "cracker line" would spell the end of the siege of Chattanooga, and on October 28, ordered Longstreet to take his corps and seize control of Lookout Valley. Longstreet decided to send only Hood's division to deal with the two enemy corps. Jenkins quickly planned a night attack on the railhead at Wauhatchie, to be made by two brigades, his own and that of General Henry Benning.  Simultaneous to the attack at Wauhatchie, and over a mile distant, a holding action near Brown's Ferry was to be made by the Texas brigade and Law's brigade. Already outnumbered, Jenkins further aggravated his situation by failing to utilize General George Anderson's brigade, also of Hood's division, and a sizable portion of the Hampton Legion Infantry, of his own brigade. As the battle broke out, Jenkins rode to Wauhatchie, on the extreme left of his widely dispersed division, instead of placing himself in a position where he could attempt to coordinate all of his troops. The ensuing engagement was a Confederate defeat. Jenkins later claimed that Law quit his holding mission prematurely.  Law, and General Jerome Robertson, commanding the Texas brigade, claimed they acted in accordance with orders. 

Jerome Robertson
This controversy brought tensions between Jenkins and Law to the boiling point.  Jenkins remained Longstreet’s favorite, but Law was the choice of the officers, the soldiers and Jefferson Davis, the Confederate president. Jenkins continued in command of Hood's division through Longstreet's East Tennessee campaign of November–December 1863.  Jenkins again blamed Law for the poor performance of the division, particularly at the Battle of Campbell's Station in Tennessee.  

The command situation in Hood's division, and Longstreet's Corps, deteriorated markedly through March 1864, with Law, General Lafayette McLaws, a former schoolmate and friend of Evander Law, and General Robertson of the Texas Brigade arrested and court-martialed by Longstreet on grounds of disobeying orders and of behavior not becoming of an officer. 

Lafayette McLaws
Longstreet's charges against his subordinates were not sustained by the Confederate War Department.  Law requested to resign, which he offered to deliver to headquarters at Richmond, Virginia in person. While there, he visited Hood, who talked Law out of resigning and used his influence to keep the War Department from accepting it. 

On Law's return to his brigade, still in Tennessee, Longstreet ordered Law's arrest for insubordination. The men of Law's brigade had had enough, and all but one of the colonels requested their regiments' transfer, with the whole brigade, to Alabama. Longstreet attempted to retaliate by leaving them in Tennessee when the rest of his corps rejoined the Army of Northern Virginia. Colonel William Oates, of the 15th Alabama in the Law brigade, would later write that “the effort to punish the men of that brigade to gratify his malice against Law, its commander, was too small a thing for a man of Longstreet’s position to have stooped to perform. But he was brim‐full of malice.”

In the Overland Campaign, on May 6, 1864, at the Battle of the Wilderness, Law was under arrest in the rear, while his brigade participated in Longstreet's morning counterattack along the Orange Plank Road.  As a result of the feud between Jenkins and Law, William Perry was in actual charge of the brigade during the winter, 1863-1864. He led the regiment during the Battle of the Wilderness. 

The Wilderness
General Lee informed Longstreet that Davis had “declined to entertain the charges,” and ordered Law’s reinstatement. Longstreet refused, challenging Davis’authority. In a note to Lee, Longstreet stated, “I cannot yield the authority of my position so long as I am responsible for the proper discharge of its functions.” He concluded that if an investigation of Law was not conducted, he should be “relieved from duty to the Confederate States service”.  Lee could not afford to lose yet another general, and offered that “Law be relieved from duty until an investigation can be had.” 

During the Battle of the Wilderness, Jenkins was riding with Longstreet when both were struck down by friendly fire on May 6, 1864. Jenkins died of his head wound a few hours later.  According to Longstreet, the South had lost “the best officer he (Longstreet) ever saw”.

Two weeks later Jefferson Davis returned Law to his command and rebuked Longstreet, stating that he had “offended against good order and military discipline, in rearresting an officer who had been released by the War Department, without any new offence having been alleged.” General McLaws was also exonerated of all that Longstreet accused him of.

Law resumed command at the Battle of Cold Harbor, where he received a gunshot wound that fractured his skull and injured his left eye.  He spent most of the remainder of 1864 recovering from his wounds.

Cold Harbor Burial Party
At his request, Law was transferred to a brigade command in General Wade Hampton's Cavalry Corps, stationed in South Carolina. William Perry assumed command of the brigade and kept it until the surrender at Appomattox.

Wade Hampton
Placed in charge of evacuating Columbia, Law was recommended for promotion to Major General  on March 20, 1865. When General Matthew Butler was wounded at the Battle of Bentonville in late March, Law exercised command of Butler's division.

 He was a member of General Joseph Johnston's staff, and surrendered with the Army of Tennessee at Bennett Place on April 26, 1865.

After the war, Law administered the extensive agricultural holdings and railroad interests in the South Carolina estate of his father-in-law, William Albert Latta, who had died in July 1865.  Law and his wife had six children - four lived to adulthood: Evander McIver, Edwin Augustus, Annie and William Latta Law.  Two of his sons became doctors, and William became a civil engineer.

Law returned to Tuskegee in the late 1860s and organized the Alabama Grange in 1872. He moved to Yorkville, South Carolina, in 1881, where for a time he was assistant superintendent of King's Mountain Military Academy.  It had been re-opened by Asbury Coward in 1866.

Law moved his family to Florida in 1881.  In 1894 he opened the Southern Florida Military Institute at Bartow; the first year's faculty included his three sons. in 1895 the Florida Legislature made it a State institution, under an act which authorized one cadet from each county in Florida at the expense of the State. In addition to teaching, Law served as superintendent and administered it until 1903. In 1905, it merged with other schools to become the University of Florida.

He was the editor of the Bartow Courier Informant newspaper from 1903 until 1915. 

Law, later in life
As a trustee of the Summerlin Institute from 1905 to 1912, and as a member of the Polk County Board of Education from 1912 until his death, Law played a key role in the foundation of public education in Florida. 

In "From the Wilderness to Cold Harbor" Law provided an account of the battles fought in Virginia at the Wilderness, Spotsylvania and Cold Harbor from May 5 through June 3, 1864. It was published in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.  He published his own account of the fighting at Gettysburg on July 2, "The Struggle For 'Round Top'", in Battles and Leaders of the Civil War.

Law was active in Confederate veterans' activities and commanded the Florida Division, helped to organize a United Daughters of the Confederacy chapter in Bartow, and wrote several articles about the war.

On May 28, 1890, Law gave a speech titled "The Confederate Revolution" to the Association of the Army of Northern Virginia at the meeting held in Richmond.  He gave a history and reasoning for the South seceding from the Union, then a brief history of the war. Finally, he discussed the war's aftermath, honored the Confederate leadership and paid tribute to the ordinary privates that served in the Confederate armies.

In his speech, he said "It is true that the Federal government overthrew secession...but has it relieved it from the danger of revolution and internal dissension in other forms and from other causes?" Law maintained that the "vast accumulation of wealth" to so few people might cause the United States problems in its future. He believed that giving so much power to so few was the biggest reason for corruption and decay within our nation. 

An interview around the turn of the century said that
General Law considers the most important questions demanding the attention of our people to be the race problem, the liquor question, and that great and vital problem, the necessity for an honest and just government.
A man of pronounced opinions and strong convictions he does not hesitate to declare himself in favor of lynching for certain crimes. 
Though he has passed the three score and ten mark, he is yet active in the discharge of his daily duties, and by a life of fidelity to every trust has won the esteem of a constituency which extends from the Potomac to the Rio Grande.
He died in Bartow on October 31, 1920, at the age of 84.  

On November 1st, 1920, in the New York Times obituary section, General E.M. Law was
listed as having past away after a week’s illness. Law was the last surviving general of the Army of the Confederacy. 

His funeral was held on November 12; all shops were closed and the entire town was in attendance.  He was buried in Oak Hill Cemetery next to his wife, who died the same year.

After his death, the town of Bartow inducted him into the Bartow Hall of Fame to “recognize his significant service to our community, state, and nation,” insuring “the continuation of his influence among our people.” There is a monument to him in Bartow

Law Monument in Bartow, Florida
At Gettysburg, the Alabama State Monument stands where Law’s brigade began its attack towards Little Round Top.

Alabama State Monument, Gettysburg 
In 2004, plans by a Law relative to auction papers from the general were disrupted by the State of South Carolina, which moved to seize the documents.  South Carolina Attorney General Henry McMaster served a temporary restraining order on August 6, against an auction house in Columbia, the day before Thomas Law Willcox was scheduled to sell off 444 documents handed down from his great-great-uncle, Evander McIver Law.  Willcox , in his late 60s, a retired businessman and building contractor living at Seabrook Island south of Charleston, had maintained anonymity prior to the auction. But within days he revealed his identity, filing for bankruptcy in federal court.

Willcox found the papers in 1999 or 2000 in a shopping bag in a closet at his late stepmother’s home.  He had the papers appraised at $2.5 million, according to his attorney, Kenneth Krawchek. He approached "several libraries and state institutions" in attempt to sell them as a collection, but without success. Eventually, "financial and health problems forced him into auction."

McMaster asserted that the papers belong to South Carolina because they were among the official documents that the governor ordered spirited out of Columbia in February 1865 in advance of the Union army under Gen. William T. Sherman.

According to the attorney general's office, on February 16, 1865, as Sherman's army threatened the capital at Columbia, the state's official papers were placed on a train and sent out of the city. The papers got as far as Chester, about 45 miles north, where they were sitting on rail cars when Columbia burned the following day.  By late 1865, nearly all the papers had made their way back into state keeping in Columbia. How and why Law came to possess the 444 documents, no one can explain.

On February 16, 1896, General Law wrote a letter to a New York book dealer regarding the sale of some letters which agree, appear to belong to the collection at issue. In1896 General Law apparently sold a portion of the papers which were subsequently purchased by the Library of Congress in 1903.  By the 1940s, Mrs. Annie J. Storm, the granddaughter of General Law, was in possession of the papers and attempted to sell them to both the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the South Caroliniana Library of the University of South Carolina. Mrs. Storm described the documents as "original State House papers entrusted to [her] grandfather at the time of the surrender." No sale resulted, but the papers were placed on microfilm at the Southern Historical Collection at UNC. 

"The State of South Carolina is not contending that the Law family did anything illegal," said Trey Walker, a spokesman for McMaster. "But these letters are just as much part of the [state] archives, and just as much state property, as if they were taken out of the governor's office today."
Krawchek, suggested that the state will have a hard time making its case.  "The state maintains that these are public records, but we don't even know if that's true," Krawchek said. And even if it is determined that they are public records, he said, "Were they abandoned? Or given away? We don't know that. Everybody at the time thought that General Law was the right one to keep these." He said Willcox's father received the collection from his aunt, Blanche Law, Evander McIver Law's granddaughter.State Archivist Rodger Stroup alerted the attorney general's office to the planned auction. 

"I personally haven't looked at them that closely," said Stroup, who is director of the South Carolina Department. of Archives and History. "My staff realized that these constituted a body of records of the government," and that therefore, by state law, they belonged to South Carolina.  "They're the official papers of the governors during the war," Stroup said, "and they reflect the thinking of the government, and military information. We'd like to have the originals back."

Krawchek, meanwhile, said, "Collectors should be nervous" over the state's contention that, despite the passage of nearly 140 years, "once it's a government document, it's always a government document."

Wilcox's sister and another family member sued him for a share of the proceeds. The state of South Carolina successfully sued for ownership in Federal Bankruptcy Court, but that August 15, 2005, decision was overturned by the United States District Court for the District of South Carolina, Charleston Division, on January 12, 2006. The United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia, upheld the district court decision on October 27, 2006, and the United States Supreme Court subsequently refused to hear the case. 

The papers in the possession of Willcox were auctioned as separate lots at Bill Mishoe's Auction House on September 29, 2007. They realized a little over $330,000. By order of the Bankruptcy Court after deduction of the auction house commission, one-third of the proceeds was to go to Willcox's attorney and the remainder was to be equally divided between Wilcox for one part and the sister and other family member for the other.

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