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MAJOR GENERAL JAMES H. WILSON - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 08/13/1890 - HFSID 285346

GENERAL JAMES H. WILSON On a visit to Russia in 1890, he writes of Napoleon's "audacity" in invading the country. Autograph Letter signed: "James H. Wilson", 4 pages (front and verso, integral leaf), 4½x7. St. Petersburg, 1890 August 18. To John C. Rofes, Boston.

Sale Price $765.00

Reg. $900.00

Condition: fine condition
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GENERAL JAMES H. WILSON
On a visit to Russia in 1890, he writes of Napoleon's "audacity" in invading the country.
Autograph Letter signed: "James H. Wilson", 4 pages (front and verso, integral leaf), 4½x7. St. Petersburg, 1890 August 18. To John C. Rofes, Boston. In full: "I am ever so much obliged to you for your letter, received just as I was leaving home, but much to my disappointment I learned on my arrival here a few days ago that your nephew had gone to England with his family and would not be back til the end of the month. I came here via Berlin where I spent several days, and shall leave the country via Stockholm and Copenhagen. When I perceive the immense distances, and the character of the country, I am amazed at Napoleon's audacity, in invading it. When it is considered that he did it without railroads, it is still more amazing. My daughters and I are greatly interested in all we see, but of course there would be much more to see if our visit had been in winter. There is to be a grand function of some kind for the Emperor of Germany and if still in reach of it I shall notably attend [?] it, as I understand an invitation has been asked for me. Again thanking you for your letter and hoping to see you on my return I am cordially yours". James H. Wilson (1837-1925) ranked sixth in the West Point class of 1860. Originally an engineer, he served on the staffs of Generals McClellan at Antietam and Grant at Vicksburg. Grant and later Sherman entrusted him with cavalry commands, a duty at which he excelled, as his horsemen swept through Georgia and occupied Macon in April 1865. Wilson's troops captured the fleeing Confederate President Jefferson Davis that May. Retired from the service in 1870, Wilson returned to uniform as a Major General of Volunteers in Puerto Rico and Cuba during the Spanish-American War and saw service in China during the Boxer Rebellion (1901). A veteran military commander himself, Wilson shows in this letter his amazement at Napoleon's daring (foolhardiness?) in invading the vast and populous Russia. Of course, he expected a quick victory, not a campaign prolonged through the winter, the same fatal misjudgment Hitler would make in the twentieth century. General Wilson may have reflected, too, that both sides in the American Civil war had drastically underestimated the length and cost of the conflict. Wilson was carrying a letter of introduction written for him by this letter's recipient, John C. Rofes, of Boston. 1 vertical 1 horizontal fold creases. Lightly toned. Otherwise fine condition.

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