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    Historic Military Content Winfield Scott Letter Signed, 2pp., 5" x 8.25", Washington, January 19, 1861, to Maj. Gen. Charles W. Sandford (1796-1878). In this letter, Scott identifies the threat to the vulnerable capital, and asks specifically for the Seventh New York State Militia, one of the best-trained and outfitted peace-time regiments in the country. The letter reads in full: "I have written to his Excellency Governor Morgan, on the subject referred to in your letter, and took the liberty of advising him to confer with you upon the subject of organization. I quote, for your information, the first two paragraphs of that letter, as follows: 'I am very sure that the President [Buchanan], as yet, has not seriously thought of calling for volunteers of militia from any quarter beyond this district, & to maintain the peace here, the local militia, the constabulary & some 700 regulars - including three companies of horse or flying artillery are at present, deemed sufficient. Perhaps, no regiment or company can be brought here, from a distance, without producing hurtful jealousies in this vicinity. If there be an exception, it is the 7th Infantry, of the City of New York, which has become somewhat national, & is held, deservedly, in the highest respect from its escorting the remains of President Monroe from New York to Richmond & its presence at the inauguration of the statues of the Father of his country in Washington." In Scott's hand: "I remain, my dear General, Very truly yrs, Winfield Scott".

    The famous 7th Infantry of New York city dates its origin from April, 1806, when Companies A, B, C and D, were organized at the time of the excitement created by the British firing on American vessels off Sandy Hook. At the beginning of 1861, it was known as one of the best appointed and drilled militia regiments then in existence. It was composed of excellent men and equipment, all its members being young men engaged in active business pursuits in NYC, and was the first New York regiment to leave for the front. Its departure for Washington, April 19, 1861 - the three months lapse after Scott's initial request in this letter, due most likely to indecision on behalf of President Buchanan - was attended by scenes of great excitement and enthusiasm, its line of march through the streets of New York met with cheers of encouragement from the citizens.

    News of the riot in Baltimore, in which some of the soldiers of the 6th Massachusetts were killed, was received before the regiment left New York, and the members were each provided with 48 rounds of ball-cartridge. On reaching Philadelphia orders were received to deviate from the route through Baltimore, as it was highly important that the regiment should reach Washington as soon as possible.

    A superb military letter from Winfield Scott of immense historical significance. In fine condition, and worthy of inclusion in the finest collections of Civil War manuscripts.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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