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COLONEL WILLIAM A. HOWARD - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 08/25/1865 - HFSID 174701

William A. Howard, a captain the U. S. Revenue Marine (now the Coast Guard), wrote this letter to a friend in 1865, just months after the end of the American Civil War, about his research to improve the Revenue Marine.

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WILLIAM A. HOWARD
William A. Howard, a captain the U. S. Revenue Marine (now the Coast Guard), wrote this letter to a friend in 1865, just months after the end of the American Civil War, about his research to improve the Revenue Marine.
Autograph letters signed "W A Howard". 4 pages, 4¾x8, 1 ruled sheet folded, front and verso, two binder holes in left edge. Chatham 4 Corners, N. Y., Aug. 25 1865. In full: "My dear [illegible]. I forward you for your perusal a letter (Copy) [not enclosed] written by me to the Secreatary of Treasury - I was mus terdd [sic] out of service among a crowd on the 4th July - I [illegible] to Washington was sworn in on my new Commission report'd [sic] to Mr. McCulloch. My note to him, you were kind enough to send at Norfolk - I was recd very Kindly by all I suggested to the Secr. the propriety of Examing [sic] the English System of 'Preventive Service'. Volunteer'd [sic] to go [illegible], other Expense than the ordinary travelling Expen Ses [sic] - time 8 weeks - suggestion approved but directed to talk with Harington &[illegible] which I did, also a Mr. Sargent C. [illegible], which I did - all appeard [sic] to approved the Suggestion particularly the latter one, the great Expense By the way the economy of such such [sic] a man - is Very expensive in any Department. I was directed to submit my plans in writing, which I did, it was [illegible] but an [sic] Gentleman (Harrington) going to Europe in an official capacity, would send such imfor mation [sic] as could be obtained - if more detail was required then an officer could be sent - thank for interest &c &c. I was direct'd to look at some Vessel in Boston Navy Yard for sale &report if suitable for the Rev Cutter Service. after which report when I was ready for duty I reported ready for duty, when I sent the written report, and am now awaiting orders I have Examined Some of the new [illegible] and they are dead failures as I told you (on board the [illegible]) they must be, but still Easily remidied [sic]- but grave mistake to the Service - it could be not be avoided when when [illegible] build wooden hulls &fir them not as armored vessels that never knew how to fight or [illegible] a Gun - As I remarked before, these faults can be remidied [sic] if the Officers will do their duty, the Vessels are large &fitted to go any where & can be made fast- and Save Expense in one Years service - The service how ever will never amount to anything unless there is some Permanent System adopted for its guidance- responsible professional men must advise &superintend the repon-sible to the Dept. outsiders only look to per-centage and care not how large - I wish you would consider my sugges-tions and give your opinion on them, of course I should desire to cary them - I am a Stranger entirely to the Secretary and it may Require influence with him, to obtain the appointment altho [sic] I am the Senior Capt. (on active Service) and according to Custom of Regular services entitled to the duties- [illegible] I intend by Example if no other way to do all I can to make the corps acceptable & [illegible] to the Country. there is plenty of smuggling and if what I hear at the Dep & sense never was less exertion used to stop it. I did hope to have them in Patt and in this &had the pleasure of seeing you - & [illegible] I shall yet before the Summer is passed - How is Will I did hope to see him in Norfolk before I was musterd and Frank promised me he would come - I did hope Frank would have commd. at Patt and Hooker promised me he would, [illegible] to his Dept.. I shall expect Wm to take a good long cruise with me-I'll show him how a Cutter should cruise-Give my best love to him & all that appertains to you- I hear Shpeley is lying off large, [illegible] his luckt I can say that much for him- I [illegible] somebody could say that for me- I wich you would write me a few lines on the subject of my paper- I would like to bring the Cutter Service up to its proper standing, many [illegible] improvements [illegible] have been obtained [illegible] the English Service -had [illegible] not been [illegible], what can he learn of their System in London, nothing Invalid to cruise in one of their Cutters, [illegible] their Shore Stations that where they do there work, their Scout System & [illegible] have none - Yours Ever [illegible] Affectionately". Howard (1807-1871, born in Maine) was an American naval officer. He entered the United States Navy in 1824, but resigned his commission to become a captain in the United States Revenue Marine (now the Coast Guard). While in the Revenue Marine, he assisted vessels off the coast of New England. He was said to look so resplendent in his uniform while commanding the revenue cutter USRC Jackson that naval officers pressured Navy Secretary Levi Woodbury to remove epaulettes from Revenue Marine uniforms. However, when war broke out, he raised a regiment of heavy artilery for the Army of the James and a regiment of marine artillery for General Ambrose Burnside. He also commanded the defenses around Portsmouth and Norfolk as a colonel. He resumed his captaincy in the Revenue Marine after the war. Lightly toned. Binder holes and paper clip impression in top left corner touch body of letter, but not signature. Ink transference touches body of letter, but not signature. Light tear at bottom edge of spine. Pinholes in top left corner. Folded once and unfolded. Otherwise in fine condition.

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