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Writing to a former foe, Confederate General M. J. Wright, Belknap looks forward to a veterans' reunion. Discredited politically, he could still find satisfaction in the fellowship of fellow soldiers.
Autograph Letter signed: "Wm. W. Belknap", 2 pages (integral leaf), SIZE? Washington, D.C., 1883 November 18. On his law office stationery to "Genl. M. J. Wright, War Department", in full: "I thank you for the extract so kindly sent me from Genl. Grant's letter. His words are too flattering to me, but they show that we made him happy, while at Cedar Rapids, and I am much glad of it. Should you write him please say that we have already begun operations for making the next Reunion in 1885 a success, & if he will be there to help us, I will promise him a good time, to which the gathering at Cedar Rapids, will be but a glimmer in comparison. And you must come also, so that you can see how the Iowa boys do these things. I shall write to Genl. G. before long. Yours very truly". WILLIAM WORTH BELKNAP (1829-1890) served bravely and effectively in the Civil War, wounded at Shiloh, and participating in the Battle of Corinth, the siege of Vicksburg, and Sherman's march through Georgia. He became President Grant's Secretary of War on October 25, 1869, succeeding William Tecumseh Sherman. Belknap was charged with corruption in office, admitted receiving bribes for the appointment of Indian post-traders and resigned from the Cabinet on March 7, 1876. He was impeached by the House of Representatives and was tried by the Senate. On August 1, 1876, Belknap was acquitted on the technical ground of lack of jurisdiction because he was no longer a government official. Marcus Joseph "M. J." Wright (1831-1922), a Confederate brigadier general who rose to regimental command, was appointed by the US War Department in 1878 as an agent for collection of military papers. (It was no doubt in this capacity that he found favorable reference to Belknap in the papers of U. S. Grant.) Wright wrote Civil War histories and memories, and a biography of Robert E. Lee. Some ink on first page lightly smeared, but legible. Toned. Corners lightly worn and creased. Separated along fold from age. Adhesive residue on verso. Pencil notes (unknown hand) on verso. Otherwise, fine condition.

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Born: September 22, 1829 in Newburgh, New York
Died: October 13, 1890 in Washington, District of Columbia

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