Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    William Tecumseh Sherman Autograph Letter Signed "W. T. Sherman." Four pages, 5" x 8", on Headquarters Army of the United States letterhead, Washington, D. C., February 23, 1877, to General Henry L. Abbott, U.S. Engineer, Willet's Point. One of the most famous and capable Union Generals during the Civil War, W. T. Sherman has been called the "first modern general" by noted historian B. H. Liddell Hart. In this letter Sherman discusses photographs of a demonstration of underwater dynamite tests. He writes, in full:

    "My dear General, I received this morning the five photographs large size and five for stereoscope - of the explosion on the day of our visit. I hope we all manifested the pleasure we experienced on that visit. The Secretary was outspoken in his surprise and wonder at your complete mastery of the mysterious power of dynamite under water by means of electricity. This must come into general use for coast defense, and I know how fearful...of danger so overwhelming, and so utterly impossible to combat. I have given three sets of the photographs to the Secretary of War. Will retain two - one for Mrs. Anderson and one for Lizzie Sherman. I would like to have a couple more for myself. And if you would send a set to Mrs. Pinchot, no. 18 E. 29th St. New York and another to my niece Mrs. Alfred Hoyt no 40 West 37th St. New York I would be placed under special obligations, and I know they will preserve them in memory of one most agreeable visit. I bet you will give your mother and to the other officers of your command sincerely my renewed thanks for their courtesy and hospitality. Tell Lt Service that his photographs are exceptionally faithful and good and must have been taken instantaneously. Can he take a horse in motion? Let him try, for if he can secure so strong a type of moving water, I see no reason why he could not catch the horse in actual motion. Every your friend, W. T. Sherman."

    Excellent content and in fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 329

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    25% on the first $100,000 (minimum $14), plus 20% of any amount between $100,000 and $1,000,000, plus 12% of any amount over $1,000,000 per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    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 2020 June 7 Arms & Armor, Civil War & Militaria Signature Auction - Dallas.

    Learn about consigning with us

    Thanks a million for getting approval to sell my Civil War Hospital Death Ledger! You made them AND ME , a nice profit. You are the best!
    Ed W.,
    Mount Vernon, OH
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424