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    John F. Kennedy, a very fine content Autograph Manuscript (unsigned) as Senator, three pages on lined U.S. Senate stationery, 8 x 10.5 inches, Washington, [no date, circa 1953 to 1960], being part of a draft speech relating the story of Medal of Honor recipient Benjamin Franklin Falls who was cited for his bravery at the Battle of Gettysburg only to die the following year in the Wilderness Campaign. The draft, not complete, relates the story of Benjamin Falls, who, after three years of service (including his meritorious service at Gettysburg), volunteered for an additional three years in the 19th Massachusetts infantry in when new recruits were not coming forward to serve. The draft, most likely prepared for a Memorial Day address, reads in full: "[Page 1] asked to reenlist for another 2 years. When they went, only 13 men & one wounded officer was left. they considered the matter and one man finally said 'They use a man here just the same as they do a turkey of a shooting match, fire at it all day, and if they don't kill it, raffle it off in the evening. So with us, if they can't kill you in 3 years, they want you for 3 more -- but I will stay' [Page 2] of the war for 3 years -- we're asked to reenlist for another 3 years [Page 3] And a comrade spoke up 'Well if new men won't finish the job, old men must and as long as Uncle Sam wants a man, here is Ben Falls.' the regiment had won & regarding his remark, pointed out that Ben Falls was killed on the front line two months later in battle at Spotsylvania. That is the spirit and the kind of man we honor on this days ceremony." Benjamin Franklin Falls (1824-1864) enlisted in Company A of the 19th Massachusetts on August 28, 1861 seeing action in the Peninsular Campaign, Antietam, Chancellosrville, and Fredericksburg before being engaged at Gettysburg. On the third day, the regiment was heavily engaged in Hancock's counterattack against Pickett's brigade. Fall, carrying the flag of the regiment, managed to wrestle the flag of a Confederate regiment away from its own color bearer, and carried both flags in his hands through the balance of the action. Fall's regiment suffered 50% casualties in the action and captured four enemy flags. It was for this action that Falls was given a Medal of Honor Citation. In December of 1863, his term of enlistment about to expire, he and his comrades were approached by Captain Jack Adams who related the need for additional volunteers. Adams wrote that "...he asked for a response from them; for a moment all were silent, then Ben Falls said, 'Well, if new men wont' finish this job, old men must, and as long as Uncle Sam wants a man, here is Ben Falls.' Then spoke Mike Scannell: 'It is three years, as you know, since I have seen my wife and children. I had expected to go home when my time was out and stay there, but we must never give up this fight until we win, and I am with you to the end.' Others expressed themselves in the same way, and when I said, 'All who will re-enlist step one pace to the front,' very man in line advanced." It was a fatal decision for Falls. During the Wilderness Campaign the following spring, he was wounded twice. The second wound proved fatal, and he died at the age of 39 leaving a wife and two children behind. He is buried in Lynn, Massachusetts at Pine Grove cemetery. A most stirring account related by Kennedy. This is a fine example of Kennedy's speech-making style, using personal stories of others to inspire, instruct and illustrate themes. His first political speeches delivered during his 1946 campaign for Congress used the story of Patrick McMahon who suffered severe burns in the PT-109 incident to similar effect. A fine example of Kennedy speechwriting. Pages bear a light horizontal crease, else extremely clean and in very fine condition.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    April, 2007
    16th-17th Monday-Tuesday
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