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    Description

    Robert E. Lee Autograph Letter Signed. One page, one-sided, 7.75" x 9.5", Washington, D.C., July 1, 1836. An engineer, a career United States Army officer, and among the most celebrated generals in American history, Robert E. Lee was the son of Major General Henry "Light Horse Harry" Lee III, and was a top graduate of West Point.

    Upon graduation from the Military Academy, Lee was given a commission in the U.S. Engineer Corps, a job he was well suited for and quite successful at. He was soon named Assistant in the Chief Engineer's office in Washington, D.C., a post he held from 1834 to 1837, during which time he penned this letter to Secretary of War Lewis Cass. It reads, in full: "Dear Sir," In reply to the letter of the Honble I. Terrill of the House of Reprs; of this date, I have the honor to hand you a Copy of the Report and Estimate in relation to the Harbor at the mouth of Salmon river, N. York, which in obedience to a Resolution of the House, was transmitted to that body on the 2nd February 1830. I am very respectfully, Sir, Your Obedient, By order, R.E. Lee."

    Lee refers specifically to Port Ontario, on New York's Lake Ontario shore, and the report he has prepared with regard to the possibility of building a harbor at that location. Although the New York Legislature incorporated a company - the Salmon River Harbor Canal Co. - to build the Salmon River canal that would lead to the planned harbor, records indicate that the canal was never completed.

    While remembered primarily for his skills as a great military commander, Lee was also an accomplished engineer, and pieces from this time in his life are somewhat difficult to come by. Lee's letter is lightly age toned and in very fine condition; a particularly handsome letter from the hand of the man who would later command the entire Confederate Army!


    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    March, 2009
    6th-7th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 3
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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