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The Cuban Major General recommends Elias Sanchez Valdivia for the position of Tenant to Major General Carlos Roloff
Manuscript Letter Signed: "Serafin Sanchez" in iron gall ink. 8½x6¼. Fully Translated in English: "Liberation Army of Cuba. 4th Force. 1st. Division. Major General Carlos Roloff. Campaign. Major General: with the purpose to fill a vacant I propose Elias Sanchez Valdivia to you for the position of Tenant. All yours, The Chief General, Serafin Sanchez. General Barracks of the 1st Division. La Campana, October 10, 1895." Serafin Gualberto Sanchez Valdivia (1846-1896) was a Cuban Major General who spent his youth between the city and the countryside. He received his first education at a Jesuit college and later graduated as a surveyor; however, he always wanted to be a teacher, so he taught in the middle of the war. Serafin made friends in every place he visited and proof of it was his solid friendship with Maximo Gomez and Jose Marti, in fact, both of them considered him a brother. On October 10, 1868, with the uprising of Carlos Manuel de Cespedes in La Damajagua and the one of the Camaguey people in November of that same year, Serafin, excited by the Cry of Yara, abandoned school and made contact with the main leaders of the insurrection in Sancti Spiritus and revealed against the Spanish colonialism on February 6, 1869. His first participation in the battlefield was in Mayajigua and shortly after fought in Chambas, Naranjo, Cascorro, etc. He later joined the forces of General Ignacio Agramonte and Maximo Gomez and ascended in hierarchy quickly, reaching the highest rank in the Liberation Army. He is well known for, despite the circumstances, having continued alphabetizing soldiers, peasants and slaves. When the Little War started in 1879, Serafin Sanchez took the arms in Las Villas in order to follow the revolutionary movement initiated in the orient of the island by Jose Maceo, Quintin Banderas and other patriots; however, when that plan failed, he moved to Santo Domingo with Maximo Gomez and later traveled to the United Sates and to Cayo Hueso, where he was the main assistant of Jose Marti in the carry out of the Necessary War. Serafin Sanchez was, undoubtedly, among with Gomez and Maceo one of the main leaders in the war of 1985. His advanced ideology made him to not only fustigate Spain, racism and divisionism, but also prevented the intentions of the United States government of invading the island. On November 18, 1896 he battled for the last time in el Paso de Las Damas. The enemy troops were commanded by Generals Arminan and Lopez de Amor, the liberation troop only had 800 men and half of them entered the battle. But those unequal conditions did not prevent the revolutionaries from fighting for more than three hours, until Serafin, convinced that the strategic goal had been accomplished, he ordered the departure and at that instant a bullet reached him and falling down in the arms of Jose Ines Fernandez, said to him and his men around: "They have killed me, but it means nothing, keep going!". Multiple mailing folds. Edges frayed. Pinhead-size moth marks at left upper corner. 2½-inch separation at middle fold. Lightly toned and soiled. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: July 2, 1846 in Sancti Spiritus, Province of Las Villas, Cuba
Died: November 18, 1896 in Paso de Las Damas, Cuba

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