GENERAL WILLIAM C. WESTMORELAND - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 01/07/1980 - HFSID 313708
Sale Price $765.00
GENERAL WILLIAM WESTMORELAND
Testy letter about money owed him, written to a former Congressman. A remarkable, behind-the-scenes look at the finances of the former Vietnam commander.
Typed Letter signed: "W. C. Westmoreland", 2 pages, 7¼x10½. Hand addressed envelope included. Charleston, South Carolina, 1980 January 7. To Seymour Halpern, Sydney Baron & Co. Inc., New York, N. Y. In full: "Thank you for your letter of January 3, 1980. There are several other bits of information to add to the most unfortunate situation which seems to add up to your conclusion that I am a sole looser. When Mr. Fulton originally called me, I told him I had an agent, Mr. Alan Walker. When you spoke to me over the telephone and later in Palm Springs, you said that 'my agent would be taken care of' and I would receive the agreed honorarium. This comment on your part was upon your initiative and not solicited by me. I considered that a commitment by Sydney S. Baron and Co. and by Seymour Halpern and explained why I have dealt with you not Fulton. Subsequently, I received two checks from Mr. Fulton - one to me for $2,5000 and one to 'Westmoreland Agent' for $700. Thence, I called you over the telephone, explained that I was not my own agent and I wished the check to be made out to me. You advised that I forward the check to you which I did. To date I have not received acknowledgment of receipt of the check nor an explanation of what disposition was made of it. My suggestion to you at the time was that the check be made out to me. I now again ask that that be done. That solution is incidentally consistent with Mr. Fulton's statement as reported in your letter that 'if Mr. Walker was to be compensated then it should be through you.' Therefore, I again request that the check be made out to me. I saw Amb. Sole several weeks ago and will be seeing him again with reference to a trip to South Africa along the line of our discussion. He expressed pleasure with the session in Palm Springs. I was sorry to learn that Mr. Baron has been ill. Please extend to him my best wishes. With hope that you had a good Christmas/New Year holiday and that the year ahead is a happy one for you, I am, Sincerely". William C. Westmoreland (1914-2005), who took command of US forces in Vietnam in June 1964, arguing for a large build-up of US forces there and pursuing a "search and destroy" strategy of seeking out and engaging enemy forces in remote areas of the country, as opposed to a more defensive strategy of protecting heavily populated areas. This strategy inflicted very heavy losses on communist forces, but also raised US casualties with a resulting outcry at home. After repulsing the communist "Tet Offensive" of early 1968, a military success for Westmoreland but a public relations disaster, Westmoreland was recalled to Washington, replaced by General Creighton Abrams. He then served four years as US Army Chief of Staff (1968-1972), before retiring. He ran unsuccessfully for Governor of South Carolina in 1974. In 1982, Westmoreland sued CBS over a documentary claiming that he had deliberately misrepresented enemy force strength in Vietnam. The case was settled with an apology from CBS but no monetary damages before it reached the jury. Westmoreland always believed that the US had won the Vietnam War militarily, but that Congress had abandoned South Vietnam by withholding adequate aid after US forces were withdrawn.Seymour Halpern (1913-1997) represented a New York district in the US House of Representatives from 1959 to 1973, and worked in public relations in later years. Normal mailing folds. Pencil note (in unknown hand) on verso (no show-through). Fine condition.
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