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LT. GENERAL WINFIELD SCOTT - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 11/30/1838 - HFSID 285254

WINFIELD SCOTT As war with Britain threatens (1838), he rushes north to command US defenses on the northern frontier. This revealing ALS shows Scott taking charge of the situation. Autograph Letter signed: "Winfield Scott", 1 pages, 8x10, addressed by Scott and docketed on verso.

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WINFIELD SCOTT
As war with Britain threatens (1838), he rushes north to command US defenses on the northern frontier. This revealing ALS shows Scott taking charge of the situation.
Autograph Letter signed: "Winfield Scott", 1 pages, 8x10, addressed by Scott and docketed on verso. Steamboat near Cincinnati, Headquarters E. Division, 1838 November 30. To Brigadier General Hugh Brady, Commander, US Military Garrison at Detroit. In full: "I am approaching the Canada frontiers;, but whether I shall pass from Columbus to Cleveland, or by way of Harrisburg, Albany & Utica, I shall be unable to say up to my arrival at Columbus. It being important that I should personally confer with the Governors of Pennsylvania & N. York, I shall take the latter route if the intelligence I may get at Columbus will permit. The object of this letter is to request a report from you of the state of the frontier under your immediate observation. Please give the posts occupied by your troops & a report of all recent & apprehended events which may be interesting to the Service. Address me, until further notice, at Buffalo. If I should not be there, directions will be given for your report to follow me. To gain time, in important cases, do not hesitate to employ expresses. I remain, Sir, with great respect, your most obedient servant." Winfield Scott (1786-1866) was one of the most brilliant military leaders in US history. Rising to Major General in the War of 1812, he later would lead the successful campaign from the coast at Veracruz to Mexico City during the Mexican War (1845-1846), against a foe much more skilled and tenacious than is generally recognized today. At the beginning of 1838, Scott was (unhappily but under orders) supervising the removal of the Cherokee Indian nation from the Southeast US to Oklahoma, along what became known as "the Trail of Tears." In that year, however, a serious dispute developed over the boundary between Maine and Canada. War seemed very possible. President Van Buren ordered Scott north to take command of US forces, but with secret instructions to settle the dispute peaceably if possible. This letter shows Scott assuming command, receiving reports on US defensive deployments while conferring with the Governors whose militia forces would be an essential part of the US Order of Battle if war came. Scott's diplomacy - he was well acquainted with the opposing British commander - helped defuse the crisis, leading to the permanent delineation of the Maine boundary in the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. In 1841, Scott began 20 years of service as US Army Commander, a period which included not just the war with Mexico, but the early days of the Civil War. The Anaconda Plan, devised by Scott in 1861, provided the strategic framework for ultimate Union victory. Scott was less successful in his venture into politics. The last Presidential candidate of the Whig Party in 1852, he lost to Democrat Franklin Pierce. Stained, foxed and creased. Wear tears at folds. 1½x¼ tear on address page - not affecting content.

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