Military

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Union General and Historian

Samuel Adams Drake Union General and historian. ALS, 2 pages Kennebunkport, Maine 11/13/05. Drake tries to answer a source question about the location of a proposed Susquehanna Fort from one of his earlier histories. He explains he was still in his summer home “convalescing from a protracted illness.” He died three weeks later. Excellent condition with the envelope. [#4795]

$50.00
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Denies any German relations at the close of the war

Dwight Eisenhower –initialed autograph note denying any relatives living in occupied Germany. Eisenhower’s writing is undated but certainly from April or early May 1945. His note is on a translation of an appeal for help from Leipzig on April 19, 1945, hours before its formal surrender.

As Leipzig was falling a German woman appealed to Eisenhower for some special treatment and protection. She was relying on a family story that her late husband was a first cousin of the Supreme Allied Commander. Undoubtedly this relationship was not talked about loudly during the war. As the city was falling and Americans arriving it was time to reveal the secret. The widow hoped family ties would spare her.

Just in case they had found one of Ike’s relatives, Army personnel apparently kept kicking the letter higher up the chain of command until it had nowhere higher to go. Eisenhower wasted no time sending it right back down the chain with an emphatic declaration that he has no close relatives in Germany and nobody would receive special treatment by claiming family ties.

Eisenhower’s note was no doubt also a directive to staff about how any future claims were to be handled. It reads: “No relative! No ancestor of either my mother or father has lived outside U.S. since 1740! Tell G-5 to write in above sense and saying she can appeal to local officials. D.E.”

It is easy to imagine Eisenhower’s anger at such a claim and any expectation that any conquered Germans would receive special treatment from him. Just days or weeks before seeing the letter he had toured the Ohrdruf concentration camp. Now after years of struggle and waiting for the complete destruction of Nazism some woman dares to expect special treatment based on an outrageous claim that he was one of them. It is harder to imagine how devastating the response must have been to the woman. Her world had turned inside out from the destruction of her country, loss of relatives and now fearing loss of her few physical possessions and property. She would soon learn that even the family stories that gave her hope were myths and her dead husband’s “family” would not help her.

Leipzig represented one of the last American engagements in Europe as Eisenhower held back from crossing the Elbe into Berlin. This letter is an intriguing example of how quickly Eisenhower was shifting focus from military conqueror to peacetime occupier overseeing the administration of a defeated country. It is a fascinating and rare example of one woman’s appeal actually reaching Eisenhower’s hands. [#5116]

$1,500.00
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Writing in the final weeks of the war

Signed letter as Supreme Commander on AEF stationary, April 17, 1945. He thanks someone for a package of fruit from California that greeted him “When I returned to my office today, having been visiting troops in forward areas…” It had been a busy week. He toured a concentration camp for the first time in Ohrdruf on April 12th, the same day Roosevelt died. Two days later he halted the American drive to Berlin, pulling them back to the Elbe. When he returned to his headquarters to enjoy the fruit he was able to celebrate what essentially amounted to the end of major battles for Americans troops in Europe. Some toning at the edges and some minor stains in lower margin. Ike’s letters between D-Day and the German surrender are much scarcer than Presidential letters and very desirable. [#4827]

$1,500.00
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Union General and Governor of Wisconsin, 2 page ALS April, 1895 thanking prominent Michigan businessman Peter White for a gift to his daughter. Fairchild was an officer of the Iron Brigade. He saw action at the Battle of Antietam and lost an arm at Gettysburg from a wound at Seminary Ridge on the first day of the battle. Lincoln promoted him to Brig. General following Gettysburg. [#4644]

$90.00
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- Confederate General, one page ALS, New York, October 15, 1870. Gibson writes to a Mr. Day about some changed plans to get into the city (presumably New York) and relays some family news. He signs it "R.L. Gibson". [#3378]

$250.00
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WWI British Field MArshal

Field Marshal who led the British Expeditionary Force in WWI and commanded epic battles including Somme and the Hundred Days Offensive. ANS on a postcard signed "Haig" with a postscript initialed "H". The March 1924 note authorizes the use of his photo "in the leaflet in connection with the Autograph Album". [#4668]

$250.00
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Confederate General

Autograph letter signed from Warrenton (Virginia) July 20 [no year]. Hunton explains that he is currently unable to discharge all of his debts but hopes to soon be able to pay all.

The letter measures 5 x 8. There are two minor traces of mounting on the back, which effect nothing. Some minor ink blotting at the bottom of the letter. A fine example in excellent condition. (#1133)

More details...

$300.00
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-ANS endorsing an appointment to the regular army, July 1861. The petition for William E. Morgan is written to Sec. of War Simon Cameron by Lt. Col. L. Towers, of the 4th Battalion of Volunteers of DC. Just below Towers’ recommendation is a 3.5 line endorsement written and signed by Andrew Johnson as the sitting Senator from Tennessee. A Congressman from Michigan and two other people have also written endorsements. This is a nice example of the mixing of politics with arming the union on the eve of the first Battle of Bull Run. [#5096]

$900.00
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Union Admiral, LS, May 5, 1858, to Captain John Pope as Commandant of the Portsmouth Naval Yard asking for his opinion on Porter’s design of a quoin for gun carriages. Porter would have the invention patented a few months later. The 3 page letter explains why Porter thinks his invention is so superior to the quoin and beds currently being used with naval guns. Porter rose to the rank of Admiral during the Civil War with significant service around New Orleans and on the Mississippi. This is an interesting glimpse at how naval weapons were modernized and improved around the time of the Civil War. [#4963]

$700.00
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TR tries to recruit the Roosevelt Dvision for WW I

-LS, July 27, 1916 on Metropolitan stationery to Admiral Seaton Schroeder. In this brief note Roosevelt tells Schroeder that any son of his would be welcome in a Roosevelt Division. After the US entered World War Roosevelt lobbied Congress and President Wilson to be given a command of some troops in Europe. Congress even passed a law for his benefit to allow volunteer divisions to be deployed. Roosevelt went so far as to begin recruiting volunteers to serve under him. Wilson finally declined TR’s offer. No doubt he sensed that sending the aged and bombastic former president into battle would create more political problems than military victories. This letter suggests Roosevelt was actively laying plans for a volunteer force well before the US even entered the war. Ironically, Seaton Schroeder, who served in the Civil War and rose to the rank of Rear Admiral in the Spanish American War, was called back to service in World War I. [#5074]

$950.00
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Letter of recommendation to Joshua Chamberlain
Col. of the 103rd Colored Unit

Union General by brevet, Col. of the 103rd Colored Unit, Lt. Governor of NY and Ambassador to Spain. Signed letter as Lt. Gov in 1867 making an introduction and recommendation to the Gov. of Maine-- Joshua Chamberlain, Gettysburg hero. [#4647]

$75.00