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1895 manuscript letter, signed by Goethals, responding to a request for Army maps of General Sherman's marches. This letter was signed when Goethals was a captain and 12 years before he was made Chief Engineer and Chairman of the construction of the Panama Canal.
Manuscript letter signed: "Geo. W. Goethals" as Captain of the Corps of Engineers, 1 page, 8x10½, on letterhead of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, United States Army, Washington, DC, 1895 March, with stamp "Received by/Engineer Maint. of Way,/Mar 16 1895" in purple ink in upper right corner. Addressed to "Mr. Chas. S Churchill, Engineer Maint. Of Way, N.&W.R.R. Co., Roanoke, Va." This letter is in reply to a request from Churchill, received March 13, 1895, for two copies of maps of "Virginia, West Virginia and Ohio &c." Goethals' officer sent him two copies of military maps showing General William Tecumseh Sherman's marches in that area. Accompanied by: Unsigned envelope from the Vice President and General Manager of the Norfolk and Western Railway Co., Roanoke, Virginia. This envelope has "General George W. Goethals, Builder of the Panama Canal./DS- Given me by Frank E. Callahan - 10/48." typed on it. In 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt had appointed George Washington Goethals (1858-1928) as Chief Engineer (1908-1914) and Chairman of the Panama Canal Commission. Goethals took complete charge of both in January 1908. The Panama Canal, which was made possible by a pact between the Republic of Panama and the U.S. in 1903, opened ocean travel between the Atlantic and Pacific (prior to its opening, ships had to travel around the southern tip of South America). Goethals, who carried the canal construction through its completion in 1914, was promoted to Major General in 1915, while serving as Governor of the Canal Zone (1914-1917). He was appointed Governor by President Woodrow Wilson; that position was appointed by the President of the U.S., while other officials of the Canal Zone were appointed by the President and Congress. Goethals, who had graduated from West Point in 1880, was a Second Lieutenant with the Corps of Engineers and taught civil and military engineering at West Point. He was construction supervisor of the Muscle Shoals Dam Project on the Tennessee River and served in the Spanish-American War (1898) as Chief of Engineers. Following duty in WWI, Goethals became chief consultant for the Port of New York Authority through his own engineering firm. A bridge connecting New York City with New Jersey is named in honor of the Brooklyn-born engineer. Letter and envelope are lightly toned and creased. Letter has been folded twice horizontally and unfolded. Otherwise, fine condition. Two items.

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Born: June 29, 1858 in New York City, New York
Died: January 21, 1928 in New York City, New York

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