Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    John E. Wool Letter Signed. One and one-half pages, 8" x 10", July 30, 1861, "Head quarters, Dept. of the East, Troy, N.Y.", to Boston Mayor Joseph M. Wightman, concerning the defense of Boston from the Confederates and the Lincoln administration's neglect of him. In part: "I am gratified to learn that the defences of Boston are to be considered. Lieut. Hopkins has made the inspections required, and reported to me the state and condition of the forts. I directed him to call on you and the Governor [John A. Andrew]." General Wool, a veteran of the War of 1812 and the Mexican War, took important early steps to secure parts of the east coast for the Union. At the age of seventy-seven when the Civil War started, he felt overlooked by the Lincoln administration as confessed in this letter: "It does appear, however, that the Administration desires my services. I am content to abide my time, confident that the rebellion will be overcome by the people. The only wonder is that the Administration should refuse or reject one so loyal as myself from participating in the conflict. It's treatment of myself is to me, as you have justly remarked, incomprehensible." Later in the spring of 1862 after the Battle of the Monitor and the Merrimac, General Wool was able to show his worth as a commander by capturing Norfolk, Virginia, from the rebels. He delivered the news by bursting into the room of President Lincoln, who was visiting near the Virginia battle front at the time, and proclaiming, "Norfolk is ours!", welcomed tidings to an administration starved for military victories. Wool retired in 1863 after over fifty years of faithful service.

    Included in this lot are two engravings, both near 10" x 6.5", of General Wool and "General Orders No. 220", issued by the War Department, July 16, 1863, notifying of the retirement of General Wool. All items are fine.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    June, 2009
    16th-17th Tuesday-Wednesday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 0
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 422

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $14) per lot.

    Sold on Jun 17, 2009 for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)
    Track Item

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Consign to the 2022 February 19 Americana & Political Signature Auction.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Heritage Auctions and Mr. Chad Reingold were...professional and courteous in all transactions and provided outstanding service in answering my many emails. I recommend them at the highest level.
    Killy M.,
    Melbourne Beach, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search