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    [Abraham Lincoln]. An Important Letter Signed by General Henry Halleck Concerning Lincoln's Directive against Quantrill's Raiders. A 2-page letter, 7.75" x 10", on letterhead of "Head Quarters of the Army," dated September 10, 1863, from General in Chief Henry Halleck, Washington, D.C., to General John M. Schofield concerning the situation in Kansas and Missouri.

    "Your telegram of the 3rd inst. requesting that Senator Lane be written to by the President, was sent to the latter, but he declined writing to the former unless he should appeal to him against your orders that no invasion of Missouri should be made by the people of Kansas. The President fully approves your determination to prevent any such invasion. It could only lead to bloodshed and retaliation. At the same time active measures must be taken to break up and destroy Quantrill's band of robbers and murderers. Cannot the three regiments which General Pope is sending to you be employed advantageously for that purpose? I am of opinion that all Missouri and Kansas troops should be removed from that border, and troops from other states be put in their places."

    William Quantrill (1837-1865) was a Confederate army deserter who organized a band in Missouri of fighters loyal to the Confederate cause, known as "bushwhackers," including outlaws Jesse and Frank James, which engaged in guerilla warfare in Kansas and Missouri with antislavery forces known as "Jayhawkers." Union forces, frustrated by Quantrill's raids along the Missouri-Kansas border, jailed individuals--including female family members of Quantrill's army--who provided assistance to the raiders. The jail, located in Kansas City, Missouri, subsequently collapsed, killing several of the women. As a result, Lawrence, Kansas, a center of Jayhawker operations under the direction of ardent anti-slavery advocate James Henry Lane (a U.S. senator and a Union general, 1814-1866), became a target of the outraged Quantrill and his raiders. On August 21, 1863 Quantrill's raiders burned a quarter of the town's buildings and killed at least 150 men and boys, a massacre that even shocked the leaders of the Confederate government.

    Within days of the raid, two Kansas politicians--one of whom was Lane--wrote to President Lincoln blaming local Union forces, under the direction of General Schofield, for failing to prevent the calamity. Schofield defended the actions of his forces in a letter to Lincoln on August 28, 1863. Three days later, on August 31, Lincoln wrote to General Halleck expressing his concern that any retaliation in response to the Lawrence raid might result in indiscriminate slaughter on the Missouri border, and asked Halleck to convey to Schofield his hope that judicious action would avert such a situation from happening. Schofield assured Halleck that he would do everything he could to prevent a violent confrontation. This letter is Halleck's response to Schofield, in which he reiterates Lincoln's wishes that a retaliatory invasion be prevented and, at the same time, to "break up and destroy Quantrill's band of robbers and murderers."

    Henry Halleck (1815-1872) was a U.S. Army officer, scholar, and lawyer, who served as commander in chief of all armies from 1862 until 1864, when General Ulysses S. Grant was appointed Lieutenant General and General in Chief. John M. Schofield (1831-1906) was a general in the U.S. Army during the Civil War, and became commander of the Army of the Missouri in 1863. He later became commander of the Army of the Ohio. After the Civil War, Schofield served as secretary of war under both presidents Andrew Johnson and Ulysses S. Grant.

    The letter has two horizontal folds, which bear scotch tape on reverse side. There is also shadows of tape at the top edge of the reverse side. Attached to the reverse of the letter is an entry for the letter that had been removed from a dealer's catalog.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    September, 2016
    17th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 1
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 586

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