COLONEL WILLIAM A. HOWARD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 01/02/1861 - HFSID 174710
Sale Price $680.00
COLONEL WILLIAM A. HOWARD (CIVIL WAR)
At the brink of the Civil War, the future Naval Colonel prepares to support his countrymen in the cause, declaring: "The Time has arrived when every Northern man should stand to his guns."
Autograph Letter signed: "W.A.Howard", 3 pages, 5x8. Brevron House, New York, 1861 January 2, three months before the Declaration of the Civil War. To "My Dear Fessenden" [U.S. Senator] William Pitt Fessenden, Washington, D.C., In full: "The Time has arrived when every Northern man should stand to his guns. I have militia a few days arrived in the Community & cannot think of leaving it, until Peace has been re-established. I wish to be useful to the country & in the coming administration in any position or place, where most good can be done. If Civil War is thrust upon us, I must take part in it. If, as I trust in God, it will not be. I can be of Service in the Navy Department. My acquaintance, not only with the officers, but the routine of the Service in all its branches, render me capable of placing at once the Secretary in a proper position, as his assistant Secretary (Chief Clerk). From what I saw & learned two years since while in Washington, I am induced to believe the greatest frauds pervade that Department. I would like to be instrumental in purging it. God knows I am not ambitious of becoming a Clerk in Washington, far from it, and to you alone I confide this proposition, as I would to the Government for any disagreeable a dangerous service, as a matter of duty, The detail duties of the Department are entirely in the hands of the chief Clerk. The Secretary with his manifold duties as a Cabinet Officer added to his political cause, preclude if he would, the necessary attention to his proper duties, hence the bringing man, now of fitting out ships and the great frauds in contracts. In as much I do not love money sufficiently enough to steal it, & think that the title of 'Honest man' is worth more than Gold--exceedingly desiring that the meaning, administration may be an honest one, I am willing & anxious to do something in furtherance of that object. In the event of immense cohesion [sic, probably coercion], I may through Hamblin, Wilson or some other of our friends, offer my services in the field field (after us) but should refer them all to you as my best friend, do not hesitate to use me in any way that will be most service able to the great cause. I hear William is residing in this City, pleases send me his address. I wish much to see him. If one of you will or bother in the letter house? Hoping to have the pleasure of hearing soon of your good health & well being. I am dear Fessenden, Every yours Sincerely" William A. HOWARD (1807-1871) was a veteran Coast Guard officer who commanded a detachment of marine artillery during battles on the Carolina coast during the Civil War. At the beginning of the war, he was commissioned as a Colonel of the 1st New York Heavy Artillery in the defenses around Portsmouth & Norfolk. Earlier in his career, when he commanded the revenue cutter Jackson, he was said to look so resplendent in his Coast Guard uniform that naval officers pressured Navy Secretary Levi Woodbury to remove epaulettes from Coast Guard uniforms. In the years before the Civil War, he was in private business as a shipbuilder. William Pitt FESSENDEN (1806-1869) had resigned a seat in the U.S. Senate to assume, at the personal behest of President Lincoln, the Cabinet post of Treasury Secretary after the resignation of Secretary Chase. Fessenden, who as Chairman the important Senate Finance Committee (1861-1864) had played an important role in raising revenues for the Union cause, but he served at Treasury for only eight months (July 5, 1864 - March 3, 1865). Thereafter he returned to the Senate, becoming chairman of the Joint Committee on Reconstruction. Lightly creased. File holes at left edge. Toned . Ink note (unknown hand) on verso of last page. Otherwise, fine condition.
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