COLONEL WILLIAM A. HOWARD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 03/24/1861 - HFSID 174714
Sale Price $488.75
COLONEL WILLIAM A. HOWARD (CIVIL WAR)
Just weeks before the Declaration of War, Colonel Howard eagerly awaits appointment to the Union Army's Naval Department.
Autograph letter signed: "William A. Howard", 1p, 7¾x9¾. Sag Harbor, Long Island, 1861 March 24. To Senator William Pitt Fessenden, Washington. In full: "Our friend Lothrop informed you had an interview with Secretary Wells (sic) the day after I left Washington - 'the result was very favourable to my appointment'. Will you do me the favour to write me your opinion on the chances. Should I receive the appointment I would wish to be in the Department before the contracts for the new Steam Sloops are given out, as I could head off some jobbing already commenced in regard to them. I really do not wish to add to your labors by thrusting my affairs on you, but under the circumstances trust you will excuse it. With kindest regards to your son & brother." 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. GIDEON WELLES had become Secretary of the Navy just three weeks earlier when Lincoln was inaugurated as President. Lightly creased. Folds, not at signature. 2 file holes and ½-inch slit at blank left margin, pinhead-size stain at blank right edge. Ink notes (unknwon hand) on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.
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