Description[Civil War]. James Garfield Autograph Letter Signed. Two pages, 9.75" x 7.75", Camp Chase, [Ohio], August 21, 1861. Signed "J.A. Garfield." Letter requesting a loan of funds to pay for personal military equipment expenses, written immediately prior to Garfield's commission to colonel in the 42nd Ohio Infantry Regiment.
Yours of yesterday is just received. You had not probably - at that time - received my letter - sent to you at Hiram.
I am delighted with the horse as you describe him. Train him for me and I will have him sent on as soon as he is in condition.
Since I wrote you, I have learned now definitely what will be the cost of my outfit - and how much money I shall need.
Horse Equipage $60 to $75
Brace of Navy Revolvers $50 to $65
Regulation Sword & Belt $25 to $35
Full [?] Uniform $45 to $50
Camp [Gear?] $10 to $15
Personal Expenses for three mos. $45 to $60
$235 to $300
Within the next three weeks - I must have $150 in cash. Can you get it for me? The letter at Hiram has told you of my resources. If need be perhaps [Almeda?] can loan me some.
In regard to you being with me, I say it will give me great pleasure if it can be so arranged - but I will not allow it unless I can get some place that will bring you as an associate fully. It is talked here that I may be promoted to a Colonelcy. If so I shall be able to do more in the way of appointments. Write me again and often.
J. A. Garfield"
It is not clear who Garfield is writing to, though it may be someone who was associated with the Western Reserve Eclectic Institute in Hiram, Ohio, where Garfield attended as a student and subsequently taught. That Garfield wished to properly attired and equipped in understandable, for at the time of this letter Garfield was stationed at Camp Chase in Ohio, training recruits, including many of his neighbors and former students, he had enlisted for the 42nd Ohio Infantry Regiment. Soon after writing this letter he was promoted to the rank of colonel. In the following December, Garfield was ordered to lead the 42nd Ohio Infantry Regiment to Kentucky, where it joined the Army of the Ohio under the command of General Don Carlos Buell. Later Garfield participated in the battles of Shiloh, Corinth, and Chickamauga. A Republican, he was elected president in 1880 and served until September 19, 1881, when he died from wounds suffered from a bullet wound resulting from an assassination attempt.
An interesting letter, written by a future U.S. president, on what equipment was essential for an officer to possess and how much it would cost.
Condition: Folded, with ink smudges, else near fine.
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