Description

    John Armstrong Manuscript Letter Signed "John Armstrong," one page, 7" x 9.5", inlaid to 7.75" x 9.5". Head Qrtrs, New York, October 13, 1812. To Major General Henry Dearborn, Commanding at Green Bush. In full, "The Government having reason to believe that an attack on this place is meditated by the enemy & having given their orders accordingly, it becomes necessary that Major Bomford should return as early as possible to his post near this City. Let me request an order from you to this affect." Before the War of 1812, George Bomford, West Point Class of 1805, was assigned to the Corps of Engineers, building seacoast fortifications. He also experimented with designs for heavy guns able to fire both explosive shells and solid shot. In 1811, Bomford designed the Columbiad, the Army's first gun capable of firing a heavy projectile. On May 14, 1812, the Ordnance Department was formally organized by Congress as part of the preparations for the second British war. On June 18th, the day the War of 1812 was declared, President Madison appointed Capt. Bomford as Assistant Commissary General of Ordnance and on July 6th, he was promoted to Major. The headquarters of Major General Henry Dearborn, commander-in-chief of the U.S. Army, were at Green Bush, New York, on the Hudson River, opposite Albany. Commissioned as a Brigadier General on July 4, 1812, John Armstrong was placed in charge of the defenses for the port of New York. This letter was penned by Gen. Armstrong just three months later. Anticipating an attack by the British, it would make sense to have Major Bomford, with experience building seacoast fortifications, to be sent to New York City. The left edge had been trimmed. The right edge had been closely trimmed, especially at the signature. The inlaying has strengthened the vertical edges of the letter which is in fine condition.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2007
    25th-26th Thursday-Friday
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