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    Description

    Clara Barton Autograph Letter Signed "Clara Barton." Two pages, 8" x 10", Washington, D.C.; October 3, 1865. Addressed to General Benjamin F. Butler, a close ally of Barton. A letter regarding her work to identify missing soldiers from the Civil War, with content on the vast amount of mail she received from families, and the likelihood of identifying U.S. Colored Troops. Barton took on the responsibility of identifying missing soldiers after thousands of families wrote to her, asking if she had seen a soldier pass through one of her hospitals during the Civil War. Following the war, through her Office of Missing Soldiers, Barton and her staff were able to identify over 22,000 men. The letter reads in part:

    "...nearly every Govt Department here, already refers to me the letters of inquiry for Missing men, which they are unable to answer satisfactorily themselves. General Muzzy [the President's military secretary] refers to me those of President Johnson. The Adjutant-Generals of each state send monthly reports to me and also compare my rolls with theirs and forward the results, and this at their own instance, as I would never have presumed to suggest it to them. I might have shown you packed in boxes upon my table 3,500 letters yet in the envelopes, which I dare not call the clerical force to answer lest I fail to meet their bills, and in the room opposite 17,000 printed rolls which for the same reason I cannot put in circulation...I have considered diligently your suggestion in relation to the Colored Troops, and truly believe that with suitable agents, this search can be made nearly as successful as that for the white soldiers and with such advices and suggestions as you might from time to time offer, or such direction as you would be pleased to assume, I should be most happy to undertake it..." Written on stationery from the Office of Correspondence with the Friends of the Missing Men of the United States Army, with docketing from Butler's office on verso.

    Condition: Flattened mail folds. Small separations starting at the folds. Light staining at corners from tape remnants on verso.


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2019
    26th Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 250

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