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    [Thomas Ruger]. Pierre G. T. Beauregard Autograph Letters (3) Signed with related documents. Beauregard, before finding fame as a general in the Confederate Army, was an engineer in the U. S. Army. During the mid-1850s, he was tasked with improving the defenses of forts along the Gulf Coast and, at the time of the writing of these letters, was working to improve Forts St. Philip and Jackson on the Mississippi River below New Orleans in case war broke out. Escalating political tensions over the spread of slavery was beginning to come to a head, as evidenced by the sectional violence in the Kansas-Missouri border war (1850-1860). Southern politicians had been threatening secession for decades and many feared the rise of the Republican Party would cause the southern states to make good on their threats and would lead to open war.

    Beauregard is writing to Lieutenant Thomas H. Ruger, future Union general and military governor of Georgia following the war, who had recently graduated from the Military Academy at West Point and was an officer in the Army Corps of Engineers sent to New Orleans to assist Beauregard. In the first Beauregard ALS, one page, 7.75" x 9.75", New Orleans, December 11, 1854, he is ordering Ruger to " by the first opportunity to Forts Jackson & St. Philip (La.) & assume, as my assistant, the immediate charge of the operations...going on..." In the meantime, Ruger decides that the Corps is not for him (as there is little opportunity for advancement for an engineer) and resolves to resign at once. In a second Beauregard ALS, two integral pages, 7.75" x 9.75", New Orleans, February 27, 1855, Beauregard expresses his regret at Ruger's decision: "I regret to hear that you have so soon concluded to resign from the Service. I am still of the opinion already expressed to you that the year's service in the Corps would have been of much advantage to you..Hoping still that you will delay sending in your resignation..." Two weeks later, Ruger receives another Beauregard ALS, one page, 5" x 7.75", New Orleans, March 14, 1855, sending him "...W. J. H. Reid [who is] Master Mason at the Fort to act as asst. overseer whenever ...Warrick is absent or sick...for although an excellent mason he has yet had but little practice as an overseer."

    Also included: Joseph G. Totten LS, one page, 7.75" x 9.75", Washington, August 26, 1854, to Thomas Ruger ordering him to New Orleans to report to Major P. G. T. Beauregard as his assistant. [and:] Fair Copy of a Joseph G. Totten Letter, two integral pages, 7.75" x 10", Washington, February 20, 1855, to P. G. T. Beauregard denying Ruger's application for a leave of absence. [and:] Joseph B. Wilkinson, Jr. ALS, one page, 7.75" x 8.5", Grande Prairie, March 4, 1855, to Thomas Ruger. Wilkinson was acting as overseer when he wrote regarding the departure of "Henry" and punishment for the way he left. He also states that he wants his "...hands to understand that they are entirely under the authority of the superintendent at the Fort..." [and:] Samuel Cooper LS, one page, 7.75" x 9.75", Washington, March 22, 1855, accepting the resignation of Thomas Ruger effective April 1, 1855.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2012
    4th-5th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 2
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