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GOVERNOR NATHANIEL BRADLEY BAKER - DOCUMENT SIGNED 08/14/1868 CO-SIGNED BY: COLONEL THOMAS DUNCAN - HFSID 174678

NATHANIEL B. BAKER and THOMAS DUNCAN Iowa's military authorities discuss discharge of a deserter at the end of the Civil War Manuscript Document signed: "N.B. Baker" as Adjutant General of Iowa, 1p, 7¾x9¾ Clinton, Iowa, 1865 August 14.

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NATHANIEL B. BAKER and THOMAS DUNCAN
Iowa's military authorities discuss discharge of a deserter at the end of the Civil War
Manuscript Document signed: "N.B. Baker" as Adjutant General of Iowa, 1p, 7¾x9¾ Clinton, Iowa, 1865 August 14. Manuscript Letter on verso, signed: "Thos. Duncan/Brevet Col .USA" as Chief Mustering Officer of Iowa. Davenport, Iowa, 1865 August 23. On official letterhead to Major General John Pope, Commander of the Department of St Louis. In full: "Properly disposed of. With great respect I have the honor to be Truly Yours." Docketing on verso makes clear that this document referred to the case of Thomas Keough, a confined deserter. Also on verso is a manuscript letter dated 1865 August 23 from the state's Chief Mustering Officer, Brevet Colonel Duncan: "Respectfully returned to Maj. Genl. Pope, Commander, Department of Missouri, with the information that I have been ordered by the Adjutant General of the Army to discharge this man under telegram of May 3rd '65 A. G. O. but as he surrendered himself more than one month after the limitation of the President's proclamation referred to in said telegram I returned the order to the Adjutant General asking whether all deserters who delivered themselves up after May 10th '65 are to be discharged under Telegram of May 3 '65. A. G. O. As soon as the papers are returned to me the man will be immediately discharged unless otherwise ordered." MATTHEW BRADLEY BAKER (1818-1876), Democratic Governor of New Hampshire (1854-1855), strongly supported the Union cause at the outset of the Civil War. Pro-Union residents of the border state of Missouri, threatened by secessionist forces in that state, appealed to neighboring Iowa for help. Samuel Kirkwood, the Republican Governor of Iowa, an able man without military experience, appointed Baker as Iowa's Adjutant General, de facto commander of Iowa's state militia. Baker proved energetic and capable in dispatch of these duties, declining a nomination for Governor to support the re-election of Kirkwood. With the collapse of the Confederacy, President Lincoln issued an order providing clemency for Union deserters, provided they surrendered themselves by May 10, 1865. For THOMAS DUNCAN, Iowa's Chief Mustering Officer, this raised a question. What should be done with deserters such as Keough who turned themselves in after the deadline? Colonel Duncan returns this document to the headquarters of General Pope, Union commander in the region, requesting further instructions on Keough's fate. Writing on verso shows through lightly. Fine condition.

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