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    General Grant Endorses his Approval of CSA General Joseph Johnston's Request to be Allowed to go to Canada

    Joseph E. Johnston Autograph Letter Signed with Endorsements from Ulysses S. Grant, Edwin M. Stanton, and John Schofield. One page, 8" x 6.25" (sight), Charlotte [North Carolina], May 16, 1865. On April 26, 1865, nearly three weeks before writing this letter, Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston surrendered the Army of Tennessee and all rebel troops still active throughout North and South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida, to Union General William T. Sherman. Both parties agreed to a military surrender, but procedures became so confused that supplementary terms had to be formulated between Johnston and Union Major General John Schofield in an effort to ensure that the Confederate officers and men could return home to their families. Johnston himself received his parole on May 2 and the following day, the Army of Tennessee was no more.

    Two weeks later, Johnston wrote to General Schofield at Raleigh, North Carolina, requesting permission to travel, in full: "As soon as the terms of 'the convention' are executed in Georgia & Florida, I wish to go to St Catherine's Springs, Canada. Will you be so kind as to inform me if I will be permitted to travel directly from Virginia to that point?" General Schofield, with no apparent authority in the matter, places his endorsement the same day, saying: "Respectfully refered [sic] to Lt. Gen. Grant. J M Schofield Maj Genl."

    General Grant received the letter with Schofield's endorsement on May 22 and placed his own endorsement, in full: "I am very much in favor of granting Gen. Johnston's request and if authorized will telegraph the authority at once. U. S. Grant Lt. Gen." The letter was then sent further up the chain of command to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton who seeks approval from President Johnson: "Submitted to the President who directs that the permission asked by General Johnson [sic] be granted with the condition that he does not return to the United States without leave of the President. Edwin M Stanton Sec of War."

    According to a letter from Grant to Stanton, dated July 7, Johnston decided against going to Canada as "...the health of Mrs. Johnson [sic] prohibiting her traveling so far, and because his authority to go prohibited his return to the United States without authority. He has made application for Amnesty and does not want to risk becoming an exile." He instead asked for permission to go as far as Maryland, home to his wife's family.

    Smoothed folds; light soiling along vertical folds. Unevenly toned with scattered spots of foxing. Johnston's signature is a bit lighter than the others, and is likely result of the nib running out of ink, versus actual fading. Matted with a 5.5" x 7" (sight) engraved portrait of Johnston and framed to an overall size of 18.5" x 12.5".




    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2013
    11th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 6
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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