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War-Date Autographs, Documents & Letters

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23 Items.  Showing Items 1 thru 20.
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BANKS, NATHANIEL P. (1816-94) Union Major General – Massachusetts; Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives – 1855-57; Governor of Massachusetts – 1858-61

# 8290

After being routed by Stonewall Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley campaign and the battle of Cedar Mountain in 1862, Banks commanded during the campaign and subsequent surrender of Port Hudson, Louisiana. A longtime politician from Massachusetts, he was elected to multiple terms in Congress, both before and after the war. 

Civil War-Date Letter Signed, one page, 7 ¾” x 9 ¾”.  Writing to “General Thomas Hillhouse, Adjutant General, State of New York,” Banks requests information relating to troops for his upcoming assignment as commander of the Department of the Gulf in New Orleans.

“Albany, Nov[ember] 1st 1862…General, I will esteem it a favor if you will notify me at Astor House, New York by telegraph of the time of the departure and probable arrival at New York of the Regiments for my expedition.  Instructions have been given to provide suitable camp ground and supplies.  I am General, With Much Respect, Your Ob[e]d[ien]t Serv[an]t, N.P. Banks, M[ajor] G[eneral] C[ommanding].

Lightly and evenly toned, with clean paper separation at several of the expected folds.

Price: $325.00
Quantity: 
 

GIBBON, JOHN (1827-96) Union Major General – Pennsylvania

# gibbonjohn
 

GRANT, ULYSSES S. (1822-85)

# 7027

18th U.S. President - 1869-77; Union Lieutenant General

From Vicksburg, Grant Exerts His Authority Over the Mississippi, in an Incident with the Steamer Empress – Later Burned by Nathan Bedford Forrest

War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, 1 ½ pages, front and reverse of the first leaf of a folded 5” x 8” letter-sheet, to a United States Treasury agent identified only as “Mr. Montrose.”

From his headquarters in Vicksburg, Mississippi, the Confederate river stronghold having fallen to Federal forces under Grant just three months earlier, the Union commander informs Agent Montrose of the improper seizure of a cotton-laden steamer on the river by the U.S. Navy. As unhindered shipping on the Mississippi had resumed after the mid-summer fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, Montrose is further instructed to provide passes for use by Union vessels as additional protection against future seizures in violation of orders already issued by Grant.


“H[ea]d Q[uarte]rs Dep[artmen]t of the Ten[nessee], Vicksburg, Miss[issippi], Oct[ober] 6th 1863. Mr. Montrose, Ag[en]t Treas[ury] Dept. Sir, The gentlemen with Gen[eral] Stewart, the bearer of this, have all shipped Cotton on the Steamer Empress, from Natchez, Miss[issippi] in conformity with Gen[eral] Orders No. 57, current series and were stopped at the mouth of the Red river by the Navy. I have written to the Naval Commander at that place, enclosing a copy of the order referred to and presume with this the Empress will be permitted to pass. However for further security I have to request that you issue Treasury passes in addition to the Authority already granted. Yours truly, U.S. Grant, Maj[or] Gen[eral].”
Three passages from the Official Records, communications between the U.S. Navy vessels involved, provide further details of the controversy, in part:

“U.S.S. Choctaw, Off Mouth of Red River, October 4, 1863. Sir: This morning the steamer Empress came down from Natchez, having on board about 2,800 bales of cotton, taken on board by permission of Brigadier-General M.M. Crocker, commanding U.S. forces at Natchez…Never having received orders to pass cotton shipped by permission of army officers, and the proclamation of the President of March 31, 1863, and the regulations of the Secretary of the Treasury of the same date not permitting any such trade, I ordered the captain of the Empress to return to Natchez with the cotton, and gave him a letter to General Crocker, a copy of which I enclose. I was informed by the captain of the Empress that these permits were given by General Grant…Frank M. Ramsay, Lieutenant-Commander, Commanding Third District.”

“U.S.S. Benton, Off Natchez, October 9, 1863…I was informed by my executive officer that he had forwarded a letter from General Grant to Captain Ramsay, a copy of which I send, in which the general was willing to assume the responsibility in the premises and referred to an order from the Treasury Department of September 15, 1863, which caused him to issue his General Order No. 57, which I send enclosed…Jas. A. Greer, Lieutenant-Commander, Comdg. 4th Dist., Miss. Squadron.”

“U.S.S. Choctaw, Off Mouth of Red River, November 8, 1863. Captain Couthouy told them that you commanded the Mississippi River; that General Grant was absolute on shore, but that he did not control so much of the water of the Mississippi as would be sufficient for him to wash his face in; that this was no question between military and naval authority, but simply whether the officers in command of gunboats should obey your orders and those of the Secretary of the Navy or those of General Grant…A person calling himself General David Stewart (who, I was informed in Natchez, is supposed to be a cotton speculator) took it upon himself to spread a number of reports, and was the principal speaker among the passengers on the Empress…Frank M. Ramsay, Lieutenant-Commander, Comdg. 3rd Dist., Miss. Squadron.”


While Navy officers were still embroiled in the controversy back on the Mississippi, Grant was en route to Chattanooga just two weeks after the date of this letter to Agent Montrose, in command of the new Military Division of the Mississippi, setting the stage for the battles of Chattanooga, Lookout Mountain, and Missionary Ridge. Interestingly, it was later reported that the Empress was burned by Confederate cavalry forces under Nathan Bedford Forrest at Island #34 on October 28, 1864.

There is light, even toning, with the usual folds, several small stains, and somewhat heavier soiling and wear to the docketed fourth page of the letter-sheet. Slight trimming of the margins, perhaps inadvertent when the envelope in which the letter was delivered was opened, affects several letters of text in the last line of the first page and in the first word of the second.

OUT OF STOCK
 

GRIERSON, BENJAMIN H. (1826-1911) Union Major General – Illinois

# grierrsonbenjaminh
 

HOPKINS, STEPHEN (1707-85)

# 7664

Signer of the Declaration of Independence – Rhode Island; Delegate to the Continental Congress – Rhode Island – 1774-76; Governor of the Colony of Rhode Island – 1755-57, 1758-62, 1763-65 & 1767-68

French and Indian War-Date Pay Order

War-Date Document Signed, 4 ¼” x 6 ¼”, a manuscript pay order “To Thos. Richardson, Esq[uire], Gen[eral] Treasurer,”  The document is co-signed by Hopkins’ fellow committeemen, assigned the task of preparing for war with France, later known as The French and Indian War, 1754-63.


“Newport, [Rhode Island], May 12, 1755. Sir, Pay Mr. George Lanton Sixty nine pounds, six shillings & six pence (old Tenor) in full of his al[lotmen]t for the French mens boat & charge the same to the Colony. Step. Hopkins.
The document is lightly and evenly toned, with clean paper separation along the center horizontal fold. The text of the document is unaffected by minor paper loss at the corners.

OUT OF STOCK
 

NewJACKSON, THOMAS J. "STONEWALL” (1824-63) Confederate Lieutenant General – Virginia; Mortally wounded at the Battle of Chancellorsville

# 9157

Civil War-Date Signature & Rank, “T.J. Jackson, Maj[or] Gen[era]l P[rovisional] A[rmy] C[onfederate] S[tates],” on a 1 ¼” x 3” slip of paper.

Lightly toned, with show-through of old glue staining from the reverse.

Price: $5250.00
Quantity: 
 

LONGSTREET, JAMES (1821-1904)

# 7517

Confederate Lieutenant General – South Carolina

Longstreet saw action from First Manassas through Appomattox, becoming Lee’s senior lieutenant general in the Army of Northern Virginia. He held post-war positions in the Grant, McKinley, and Roosevelt administrations.

War-Date Endorsement Signed

Civil War-Date Endorsement Signed, on a 1 ¾” x 3 ¼” slip of paper, removed from a larger document.

Respectfully forwarded, J. Longstreet, L[ieutenan]t Gen[era]l.”

While post-war manuscripts by Longstreet are readily available, war-date examples are seldom encountered. This endorsement, distinctly signed by Longstreet with his right hand, can be dated to the war-time period before the Battle of the Wilderness, May 5 & 6, 1864, where a severe wound forced Longstreet to use his left hand for writing for many years afterward.

OUT OF STOCK
 

McCLELLAN, MARY ELLEN MARCY (1836-1915)

# 5797

Wife of Union General George B. McClellan; Daughter of Union General Randolph B. Marcy

Civil War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, two pages on separate sheets of a folded 3 ½” x 5 ½” embossed personal letter-sheet, responding to a request for her husband’s autograph. 

“Mr. Renshaw – I regret that I have no note of Genl. McClellan’s that I can give away – and when asked for his autographs am obliged to send merely his signature. If this will afford you any gratification I am very happy to enclose it to you. Yours & c, M.E. McClellan. New York City, May 19th/[18]62.”

At the time, General McClellan had completed his tentative advance up the York-James Peninsula to threaten Richmond, and he had written to his wife frequently during the month-long campaign. The letters which Mrs. McClellan was unwilling to part with would have undoubtedly contained significant insight into both the movement of the Army of the Potomac and her husband’s frustration at the continuous urging of President Lincoln for more aggressive action against the outnumbered Confederate defenders.

Lightly and evenly toned, with several light folds.

OUT OF STOCK
 

McPHERSON, JAMES B. (1828-64)

# 6887

Union Major General - Ohio

An 1853 graduate of West Point, McPherson entered the war as first lieutenant of engineers, seeing action at Forts Henry & Donelson, Shiloh, and Corinth. As major general of volunteers, he commanded the 17th Corps through the Vicksburg Campaign, winning the praise of both Grant and Sherman. McPherson was killed-in-action on July 22,1864, during Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign.

War-Date Signature, with rank, “Jas. B. McPherson, Maj. Genl.” on a 1 ½” x 3 ¾” slip of paper.

OUT OF STOCK
 

NIMITZ, CHESTER W. (1885-1966)

# 7155

U.S. Navy Admiral; Commander-in-Chief of the United States Pacific Fleet – 1941-45

During the Final Months of World War II, Nimitz Expresses Support for a Rehabilitation Center for Wounded Veterans on Staten Island – Modeled after FDR’s Facility at Warm Springs, Georgia

War-Date Typed Letter Signed, 8” x 10 ½”, on imprinted stationery as Commander of the United States Pacific Fleet during World War II, to “Irving Geist, 1372 Broadway, New York, New York.”

Writing from his Advance Headquarters on Guam during the final months of the war, Nimitz expresses support for “constructing swimming pools, similar to those at Warm Springs,” the facility founded by Franklin Roosevelt in Georgia to treat victims of polio, for the rehabilitation of wounded World War II veterans at the Halloran General Hospital on Staten Island. He further declines to submit a statement and a photograph for publication, due to the demands of the war. A well-known New York philanthropist, Geist had committed to the task of raising the estimated $150,000 to finance the project at Halloran General Hospital the previous year.


1 June 1945.

Dear Mr Geist:

This will acknowledge your letter of 3 May 1945, which has just reached my Advance Headquarters at Guam.  You may be certain that measures undertaken for the benefit of our returning wounded veterans have my most sympathetic approval. I congratulate you and the men associated with you on your project for constructing swimming pools, similar to those at Warm Springs, for the Halloran General Hospital and I hope and believe that they will prove beneficial to the men for whose use they are intended.

The increasing momentum of the Pacific war has made so many demands upon my time that I have been obliged to adopt a policy of not making statements for publication in connection with endeavors which are not of national scope, however worthwhile such endeavors may be. Therefore I must regretfully decline your request that my photograph and a statement from me be sent for publication in the Dedication Journal.

I deeply appreciate the patriotic motive which prompted you in making the request and offer you my good wishes for the success of your endeavor.

Sincerely yours,

C.W. Nimitz,

C.W. NIMITZ
Fleet Admiral, U.S. Navy.”


Originally planned in 1938 as a treatment center for children with developmental disabilities, Willowbrook State School was renamed Halloran General Hospital after the late Colonel Paul Stacey Halloran, and served as a treatment center for returning wounded veterans from 1942 through 1947.

The letter is lightly and evenly toned, with two horizontal folds, and there are two pinholes and a light paper clip indentation in the upper margin.

OUT OF STOCK
 

PICKENS, FRANCIS W. (1805-69)

# 6855

Confederate Governor of South Carolina – 1860-62; U.S. Congressman – South Carolina – 1834-43

Civil War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, 8” x 10”, on imprinted stationery as Confederate Governor of South Carolina. Shortly after the outbreak of war, Pickens instructs the commissary general in the payment and distribution of rations for troops in the new South Carolina regiments.

4 June 1861To Commissary Gen[era]l Walker. Sir, I rec[eive]d yours of this inst[ant]. Capt[ain] Elliot’s company appear to have rec[eive]d rations at 40 c[en]ts – and the service was for twenty four days – and the highest Army ration is 30 c[en]ts. The $488.10 is the highest one paid. This of course includes beef & vegetables, & the bill for $151.75 cannot be allowed. As to temporary supplies to Gen[era]l Garlington, Col[one]l Rion, and Col[one]l Blandings command, you might furnish for a day or so. Please see that the supplies left by Cash’s reg[imen]t at Florence are taken care of & held or brought to the city, & so of Burns & Jenkins & all the other reg[imen]ts. F.W. Pickens.”

There is light, even toning, along with two horizontal folds and smudging of ink to several letters of text.

OUT OF STOCK
 

PLEASONTON, ALFRED (1824-97) Union Major General – Washington, D.C.

# 8327

A cavalry officer who fought in the East until Grant became general-in-chief in early 1864, Pleasonton’s most memorable action was at Brandy Station, Virginia, the largest cavalry battle of the war.

Civil War-Date Signature, circa 1861, with rank in another hand, “A. Pleasonton, Capt[ain] 2nd Cavalry, Com[man]d[in]g Co[mpany] ‘H’,” on a 1” x 3 ½” slip of paper, removed from a larger letter or document.

Lightly toned, with minor staining, and there are old mounting remnants on the reverse.

OUT OF STOCK
 

POOR, ENOCH (1736-80)

# 7493

Brigadier General in the Continental Army during the American Revolution

Born in Andover, Massachusetts, a veteran of the French and Indian War, Poor settled in Exeter, New Hampshire after the war ended. He became colonel of the 2nd New Hampshire when recruits were called after the battles of Lexington and Concord. In the summer of 1775 the unit was incorporated into the Continental Army, and Poor subsequently served in the early-war invasion of Canada and at the battles of Saratoga, Bemis Heights, and Monmouth, his regiment having spent the winter of 1777 with Washington’s army at Valley Forge.

Revolutionary War-Date Signature, with rank, “Enoch Poor, B[rigadier Gen[era]l,” on a ¾” x 3 ½” slip of paper, probably removed from a letter, and dated to the period from Poor’s appointment to brigadier general on February 21, 1777 until his death, September 8, 1780. The signature is affixed to a heavier 5” x 7 ½” sheet, beneath a book image of Poor in military uniform, with printed biographical text also attached in the lower and upper margins.

OUT OF STOCK
 

PORTER, WILLIAM D. (1809-64)

# 5854

Union Commodore

A lifelong navy man, born in New Orleans, Porter commanded Union naval forces at Ft. Henry, Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and Baton Rouge. He held no active command after promotion to commodore and died on May 1, 1864.

War-Date Signature, with sentiment and the rank Porter held from July 15, 1862 until his death during the Civil War, “Yours Respectfully, W.D. Porter, Commodore, U.S. N[avy],” on a 1 ¾” x 3 ¼” slip of paper.

Lightly and evenly toned, with old mounting traces on the reverse.

OUT OF STOCK
 

PRENTISS, BENJAMIN M. (1819-1901) Union Major General – Illinois; Most remembered for his gallant defense of the Hornet's Nest at Shiloh

# 8329

Civil War-Date Signature, with rank, “B.M. Prentiss, Brig[adier] Gen[era]l U[nited] S[tates] V[olunteers],” on a 2 ¾” x 5” slip of paper.

Excellent, with light, even toning.

OUT OF STOCK
 

PRESTON, JOHN S. (1809-81)

# 7533

Confederate Brigadier General - Virginia

A Virginia native and pre-war attorney, Preston served on the staff of Confederate General P.G.T. Beauregard during the bombardment of Ft. Sumter and at the battle of First Manassas. He later served in command of conscript and prison camps, and as superintendant of the Confederate Bureau of Conscription in Richmond.

War-Date Signature

Civil War-Date Signature, with the rank Preston held from April 23, 1863 until June 10, 1864 in another hand, Jno. S. Preston, Col[onel] A[ssistant] A[djutant] Genl. Com[man]d[in]g,” on a 2” x 4 ½” slip of paper.

OUT OF STOCK
 

SCOTT, WINFIELD (1786-1866)

# 6070

Union Major General - Virginia; U.S. Presidential Candidate - Whig Party - 1852

Scott’s Civil War role was limited to the conception of the “Anaconda Plan” for forcing the surrender of the Confederacy. Due to advanced age, he resigned from the army shortly after McClellan’s appointment to command the Army of the Potomac.

Recommending Brevet Brigadier General Harvey Brown to War Secretary Stanton 

War-Date Autograph Letter Signed, two pages on front and reverse of a 5” x 8” sheet, recommending an old army comrade, Colonel Harvey Brown, to War Secretary Edwin Stanton.

“N. York, Apl. 9 1862. Dear Sir: I beg to present to you Col. Harvey Brown, one of the most distinguished veterans of the army & whose last gallant achievement, at Ft. Pickens, seems to merit a special reward, like all his other services on whatever field. Col. B. has had fortune in respect to promotion which, I trust, the War Department may now be able to correct. With the highest respect, I have the honor to remain, Y[ou]r most Ob[edien]t Serv[an]t, Winfield Scott. Hon. E.M. Stanton, Sec. of War.”

A lifelong soldier, Brown had served in the Florida Seminole Wars and under Scott during the Mexican War. Having declined appointment to brigadier in the volunteer services, he was brevetted brigadier general, effective November 23, 1861, for gallant conduct in the command of Ft. Pickens, Florida during the Confederate attempts to take the Santa Rosa Island post. On April 5, 1862, Brown took command of the defenses of New York City and was later brevetted major general for his role in suppressing the Draft Riots there the following year.

Lightly and evenly toned, with small holes at corners and tape repairs to clean paper separation at the folds.

OUT OF STOCK
 

SEDGWICK, JOHN (1813-64)

# 6919

Union Major General - Connecticut

A West Point graduate, veteran of the Seminole and Mexican Wars, Sedgwick served with the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula through Spotsylvania, where he was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter.

War-Date Document Signed, 3 ¾” x 8”, a manuscript pass for Lieutenant Henry J. Strait of the hard-fought 40th New York Infantry, also know as the Mozart Regiment. This early-war pass can be dated to the period before Sedgwick’s promotion to major general on July 25, 1862.

“Permission is hereby given Lieut[enant] H.J.Strait to visit Washington & Return to-day. By order of E.J. Riley, Col[onel] Com[man]d[in]g 40th N[ew] Y[ork] V[olunteers].  per J.H.B. Jenkins, Adj[utan]t’s Clerk. Approved, John Sedgwick, Brig[adier] Gen[era]l Vol[unteer]s.”

There is light soiling and wear, paper separation at the center intersection of the usual folds, along with minor loss of paper in the upper margin.

OUT OF STOCK
 

SEDGWICK, JOHN (1813-64) Union Major General - Connecticut

# 8331

A West Point graduate and veteran of the Seminole and Mexican Wars, Sedgwick served with the Army of the Potomac from the Peninsula through Spotsylvania, where he was killed by a Confederate sharpshooter. 

War-Date Signature, with rank and command in another hand, “John Sedgwick, Major General, Commanding Sixth Corps,on a 1 ¼” x 3 ¾” slip of paper, removed from a larger letter.

Excellent, with light, even toning.

OUT OF STOCK
 

STANTON, EDWIN M. (1814-69)

# 7042

U.S. Secretary of War – 1862-68

President Lincoln Appoints Henry Larcom Abott a Brevet Brigadier General

War-Date Document Signed, 8” x 10,” as Secretary of War, Washington, December 2, 1864, “E.M. Stanton,” a partly printed War Department letter informing 1st Connecticut Heavy Artillery Colonel Henry Larcom Abbott that he has been appointed to the rank of brevet brigadier general by President Lincoln, “…for gallant and distinguished services in the operations before Richmond and especially in the lines before Petersburg,” to rank from August 1, 1864.

A manuscript notation in the lower margin directs this letter through Army of the Potomac Commanding General George G. Meade.

Condition is very good, with light toning and the usual horizontal folds.

OUT OF STOCK
 
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