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    Pierre G. T. Beauregard Autograph Letter Signed "G. T. Beauregard" with related documents. Two integral pages, 7.75" x 10", New Orleans, March 29, 1855, to Thomas Ruger regarding his resignation and the possibility of a coming war. He writes, in part: "I enclose you herewith the acceptance of your resignation...But as it is probable that Mr. Warrick's health will not permit him to return to the Fort for one or two weeks yet & Mr. Reid being still too new to take sole charge of the operation going on there, I sincerely hope you will be able to delay your departure from there a while longer..." Beauregard proposes to make him his "assistant at the rate of $5 p. day or $150 p. month." He expresses a growing concern by those in command: "The General recommends very active operation on all the Forts on account of the clouds which are beginning to darken our horizon."

    With original transmittal envelope. Folds and light toning. Beauregard, as an engineer in the U. S. Army, was tasked with improving the defenses of forts along the Gulf Coast and was at the time working to improve Fort's St. Philip and Jackson on the Mississippi River below New Orleans. Escalating political tensions over the spread of slavery in the mid-1850s, as evidenced by the sectional violence in the Kansas-Missouri border war (1850-1860), was beginning to come to a head. 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.

    Also, Thomas Ruger Autograph Letter Signed "T. H. Ruger." Four integral pages, 8" x 10", Fort St. Philip [Louisiana], April 1, 1855, to his father regarding his decision to resign and his plans for the future. "I shall not leave here for a week or two yet...Now that I have resigned I can go when I please, but Maj. Beauregard is very urgent for me to remain here a short time as his assistant until the overseer who is sick in town can come down. He says that in consequence of the cloudy appearance of the horizon the Dept. wish to hurry on the forts and it will place him in a very unenviable position."

    He goes on to list several reasons for his resignation and discusses the possibility of war: "I think it best to resign if we are to have peace. In case of war soon, of which there is every day more prospect and certainty I would be in a corps [Corps of Engineers] in which the dangers of service are entirely disproportioned to the chance of distinction and promotion..War occurs soon regiments would be raised, & if we have war it will be one of considerable magnitude. In fact from the present state of our affairs with other nations it would be one which would be likely to tax our powers to considerable extent..."

    He warns against his brother, Edward, going on another surveying expedition as "2,000 troops is about to start against the Sioux and a surveying party would be a very tempting bait and would stand no chance against numbers."

    Thomas Ruger reenlisted in the volunteer army with the outbreak of the Civil War and achieved the rank of brigadier general. He saw action at the Battle of Antietam and led troops at Chancellorsville and Gettysburg. He mustered out of the volunteer army after the war and received a colonel's commission in the regular army. He was brevetted a brigadier general for his actions at Gettysburg and served as the Provisional Governor of Georgia from January 13 through July 4, 1868, and the District of Alabama until February 1, 1869.

    With Special Orders No. 40, 8" x 9.75", Washington, March 22, 1855, informing Thomas Ruger that his resignation "has been accepted by the take effect April 1, 1855." With original transmittal envelope.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2012
    11th-12th Wednesday-Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 5
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