LT. GENERAL JAMES "LEE'S WAR HORSE" LONGSTREET - COLLECTION 03/13/1901 WITH ELIHU ROOT - HFSID 295530
Sale Price $1,530.00
JAMES LONGSTREET and ELIHU ROOTThe former Confederate Civil War general writes the Secretary of War a 4-page letter seeking a permanent U.S. Army appointment for his son and namesake - a veteran of the War with Spain. Accompanied by Root's prompt reply. Collection comprised of 1) Autograph Letter signed twice: "James Longstreet" [2nd signature in text], 4 pages, 6½x8¾. Washington, District of Columbia, March 13, 1901. To "Hon. Secretary of War" [Elihu Root], in full: "I beg to ask leave for my son James Longstreet Jr., now of the 29th Regiment of US Volunteer Infantry under the re-organization of the Regular Army. He has been on field service since the first call for Volunteers for the Spanish War, May 1898. One of the first to volunteer for war service, and has been in service constantly since. First with Battery D of the Georgia troops which he aided in getting into service and was appointed Lieutenant by Governor Atkinson. In the Autumn when the batteries, returning, were mustered out, the President then appointed him Lieutenant of a Regiment of Infantry organized for service and ordered the Regiment to San Diego where he served to the expiration of his term, was ordered home and mustered out of service. When the Volunteer Regiment was organized for the Philippine service, he was again appointed First Lieutenant and assigned to the 29th Regiment and sailed in 1899 - with his Regiment, and has been constantly on service in good vigorous health. Recently he was promoted to Captain of Company C of the Regiment. During his service as Lieutenant, he was on Quartermaster, Commissary of Subsistence duty, and part of the time acting Collector of Customs. In all of which, with his military duties he has made excellent record. His constant service for three years in camp and in actual hostilities against Spanish and Talgols has given him opportunity to acquire all experience, necessary to fit him for all duties as Captain and higher position in line of service. Familiarity with tactics he acquired at the military school at Dahlonega, Georgia. Natural taste and talent for the profession and advantages of field experience, fit him well for high confidence of superior officers. He prefers service in the line, but if he is ineligible under the law, to the rank of Captain, wishes appointment of Captain Quartermaster or Paymaster. In all the vicissitudes of climate and severe expressions of weather of the trying climate he has had good health. With High Respect, Your most obedient servant". One vertical fold. Lightly worn. Lightly frayed at top edge. Slightly soiled. Light foxing on page four. Otherwise, fine condition. 2) Typed Letter signed: "Elihu Root" as Secretary of War, 1 page, 5½x9. War Department, Washington, District of Columbia, March 14, 1901. On official letterhead to General James Longstreet, Commissioner of Railroads, Department of the Interior. In full: "I have received your letter of March 13th, regarding the appointment of your son, First Lieutenant James Longstreet, Jr., 29th Infantry, US Volunteers, as an officer in the regular army. I shall take pleasure in giving your wishes in the matter and Mr. Longstreet's record every consideration. Very truly yours". One vertical and one horizontal fold. Slightly creased. Otherwise, fine condition. General James Longstreet (1821-1904)commanded members of the Confederate Army in both the western and eastern theater at various battles such as the 2nd Bull Run, Antietam, Gettysburg and Chickamauga. He's recognized today as one of the Civil War's finest generals, despite his involvement in the infamous failure of Pickett's Charge. Robert E. Lee called him his "old war horse". After the war, he became what other southerners called a "scalawag," a white man who accepted Reconstruction, including equality for blacks, and joined the Republican Party. President Grant appointed him Collector of Customs in New Orleans, and President Hayes named him in 1880 as ambassador to the Ottoman Empire. He was U.S. Commissioner of Railroads under Presidents McKinley and Roosevelt (1897-1904). Longstreet's postwar politics earned the ire of unreconstructed Confederates, who wrote military histories blaming him for the South's defeat. Elihu Root (1845-1937) first gained notoriety as a top-notch lawyer. Notable clients include William "Boss" Tweed (junior counsel), Andrew Carnegie, eventual President Chester A. Arthur, and Jay Gould. He was named a United States Attorney by former client President Chester A. Arthur and later served as the Secretary of War for President William McKinley and President Theodore Roosevelt from 1899-1904. As Secretary of War, he modernized the armed forces of the United States, particularly the National Guard. Roosevelt appointed him to be Secretary of State following John Hay's death in 1905; he served in that position until 1909. Root was elected to represent New York in the United States Senate for one term, from 1909-1915. As recognition for his arbitration and collaboration skills between multiple international actors, Root was awarded the 1912 Nobel Peace Prize. In 1917, the elderly statesman was appointed by President Woodrow Wilson to travel to revolutionary Russia to engage in cooperation talks with the new government. He promoted international arbitration treaties and played an influential role at the Washington Naval Conference (1921-1922). Today, his home in Clinton, New York, stands as a National Historic Landmark. James Longstreet, Jr. (1865-1922) received the appointment urged by his father, served in the U.S. Cavalry during World War I, and remained in military service for the rest of his life until suffering a heart attack while conducting a cavalry review. He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery next to his brother, fellow Spanish War veteran Robert E. Lee Longstreet. Two items.
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