Description

    Ulysses S. Grant Autograph Letter Signed "U. S. Grant / General" to President Andrew Johnson. One and one-quarter pages, 7.75" x 10", Washington, August 2, 1866, on letterhead reading, "Head Quarters Armies of the United States." One year after accepting General Lee's surrender to end the Civil War, General Grant recommends Colonel Absalom Markland to President Johnson. In full:

    "It gives me pleasure to acknowledge the services of Col. A. H. Markland, as Special Agt. of the P.O. Dept. throughout the War, for furnishing the mails to the Armies in the field with promptness. He was ever vigilant and efficient in the line of duties he was required by his officer to perform. These duties, I should think, formed a good lesson preparitory to the performance of higher duties in the P.O. Dept. and I take pleasure in expressing my conviction of the Colonels fitness for any position in that department he may seek.

    I have the honor to be
    Very respectfully
    Your obt. svt.
    [signed] U. S. Grant
    General."

    Mindful of Markland's wartime efforts, Grant writes this letter to President Johnson, recommending his old friend for "higher duties in the P.O. Dept." Originally four integral pages, this letter has separated into two sheets. Docketing appears on the verso of the second sheet. With folds. The lined paper has slightly toned.


    More Information:

    During the Civil War, Kentucky-native Absalom Markland served as a special agent of the Post Office Department assigned to General Grant's staff. He was also a personal friend to the general. The two had met in their early teens as classmates at Maysville Seminary in Kentucky. While Grant began a career in the U.S. military, Markland studied law and migrated to Washington, D.C., in 1849 and became a government official in the Office of Indian Affairs. During the presidential campaign of 1860, he supported Abraham Lincoln who, after his election, appointed Markland a special agent in the Post Office Department. Markland's initial assignment was to investigate the loyalty of postmasters to the Union, but General Grant soon assigned him charge of mail delivery for his Army of the Tennessee. Markland transformed the slow, inefficient mail delivery to Grant's troops into a prompt, efficient service that consequently helped improve morale. According to Allen Thorndike Rice's book, Reminiscences of Abraham Lincoln by Distinguished Men of His Time (1886), Markland had the rare distinction of being "the only person besides President Abraham Lincoln and General U. S. Grant who ever had authority to pass at will through all the armies of the United States, thereby showing the confidential relations between the President, General Grant and himself" (North American Publishing Company, 629). Markland was given the honorary rank of colonel and served under Grant for most of the war, often carrying letters and messages between President Lincoln and generals.



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    Auction Dates
    April, 2011
    8th-9th Friday-Saturday
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