DescriptionJoseph K. Barnes Autograph Letter Signed "J K Barnes / Surg. Genl", one page, 4.5" x 7", on his office letterhead, War Department, Washington, D.C., 6 November 1867, to Secretary of War W.W. Belknap, transmitting "a full set of the publications of this office." Barnes, a Pennsylvanian who had served in the U.S. Army since 1840, became surgeon general in August 1864. He was present at both President Lincoln's deathbed and autopsy, and he personally performed the autopsy on John Wilkes Booth, removing from the assassin's neck two damaged cervical vertebrae and adjacent spinal cord, a specimen that he gave to the Army Medical Museum and which is still owned by its successor the National Museum of Health and Medicine. Separations beginning at folds; some light soiling. Very good.
Together with William Hunter Autograph Letter Signed "W Hunter" as second assistant secretary (of state), on department letterhead, Washington, 18 October 1870, to A. Boyd of New York, acknowledging a request for "a printed copy of the special order of the president of May 1, 1865, relative to trying the assassins, and of the special order No. 216 of the same month on the same subject", which has been "referred to the War Department, that being the Department from which said orders are supposed to have emanated." The addressee, Andrew Boyd, published the first Abraham Lincoln bibliography this year. Fold with a small ink smudge at the bottom of the page; fine.
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