MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT ANDERSON - AUTOGRAPH LETTER SIGNED 06/04/1861 - HFSID 286061
Sale Price $4,037.50
Seven weeks after surrendering Fort Sumter, Colonel Robert Anderson writes to General Lorenzo Thomas about a recent meeting with President Lincoln's lifelong friend Joshua Speed.
Important ALS: "Robert Anderson/Col. USA", 1p, 7¾x9¾. Cincinnati, Ohio, 1861 June 4. To General Lorenzo Thomas, Adjutant General USA, Washington, D.C. In full: "I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of Genl Orders (Adjt Genls Office) No 25.6&7 and G.O. No. 7 Hd Qrs of the Army, and also of a letter from the Hon. J.K. Moorehead to the Hon. Secy of War, with enclosures, referring to certain parties in Louisville Ky reported to be engaged in furnishing or forwarding, Revolvers, Tents, Knapsacks &c to the rebels, Mr. Joshua Speed, a firm Union Man and a man of sound judgement, to whom I showed these papers, advises that no steps be now taken in this matter-greater harm than benefit to the cause would result from it. A letter from Surgeon Wright USA. the Senior Medical Office in this Dept. is, herewith, forwarded. I am satisfied that the opinion he gives, confirming the views of the Physicians who advised with me before I left N.Y. is correct. Fortunately, my absence from Ky. for some weeks, will, in the opinion of the leading Union Men of that State, be advantageous to the Union cause in that State-If I leave, I shall leave directions that I am to be sent for the moment they deem my presence important, when I shall, God willing, at once return."
Republican JAMES K. MOORHEAD represented Pennsylvania in Congress from 1859-1869. He was a member of the House Committee on Manufactures, later serving as Chairman. Kentuckian JOSHUA SPEED had been a close friend of President Lincoln since they had first met in Springfield, Illinois in 1837. After leaving Fort Sumter and given the command of the Department of Kentucky, Major ROBERT ANDERSON was ordered to employ Unionists in Kentucky whom Lincoln thought he could trust to help get the guns into the right hands. One suggested by Lincoln was Joshua Speed. Lincoln wrote of Speed: "I have the utmost confidence in his judgment on any subject he professes to understand." In this letter, Anderson tells General Thomas he has conferred with Speed, a "man of sound judgement".
Robert Anderson (1805-1871) was born near Louisville, Kentucky to a prominent Virginia family. In November, 1860, Anderson was selected, partly because of his southern birth and proslavery inclinations, for the command of the forts in the harbor of Charleston, South Carolina. Originally headquartered in Fort Moultrie, he complained to the War Department that the fort couldn't be held without more men. Not receiving any reinforcements or instructions, he moved his garrison to the more defensible Fort Sumter when South Carolina seceded in December 1860. To keep a balance in his delicate position, Anderson refused to surrender to Charleston authorities but he also didn't aid a federal supply ship that was being shelled by shore batteries when it tried to enter the harbor on January 9, 1861, with reinforcements. His situation grew steadily worse, but he continued to refuse to surrender. On the morning of April 12, 1861 South Carolina guns began firing on Fort Sumter. On April 14th, Major Anderson accepted the terms of evacuation offered by Confederate General Beauregard.
On June 3, 1861, the day before this letter was written, President Abraham Lincoln wrote the following to the Senate of the United States: "I nominate Major Robert Anderson, of the First Regiment U. S. Artillery, for promotion by brevet, as proposed by the Secretary of War." Secretary of War EDWIN M. STANTON had proposed to Lincoln "for your approbation the name of Major Robert Anderson, First Artillery, to be lieutenant-colonel by brevet, for his wise and heroic transfer of the garrison of Fort Moultrie to Fort Sumter, to date from December 26, 1860, and to be colonel by brevet for his gallant maintenance of the latter fort under severe hardships, with but a handful of men, against the threats and summons of a formidable army, to date from April 15, 1861." He was appointed Brigadier General on May 15, 1861 and given the command of the Department of Kentucky which was merged into the Department of the Cumberland on August 15th. Anderson writes about his health in this letter. When his health got worse a few months later, he was relieved of field command (October 8, 1861) and given duties at various posts in the North. Brigadier General Anderson was retired from the regular army on October 27, 1863 and brevetted Major General. After the recapture of Charleston, on April 14, 1865, Major General Robert Anderson took part in a ceremony in which he raised the same Union flag he had lowered exactly four years earlier.
Lightly creased. Lightly browned edges. Small nick at right edge. Overall, fine condition.
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