Union General Richard Delafield: Group of Three Letters. Each of the letters is addressed to A.H. Bowman, dated 1833, 1861, and 1864. The letters concern improvements made to Fort Delaware, the manufacture of artillery carriages during the first months of the Civil War, and the designation of Bowman to the War Department as senior officer of the Corps of Engineers. The letters show the expected folds with the usual age toning.

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    Delafield's (1798-1873) lifelong association with the Army Corps of Engineers began in 1818 upon graduating first in his class at West Point. His initial posting as a young lieutenant found him working on the Hampton Roads defenses in Virginia. Subsequent activities found Delafield engaged in defense construction along the Mississippi delta. Twenty years after graduating from the U.S. Military Academy, Delafield was appointed superintendent of the institution and held that position until 1845, commanding the likes of Robert Lee and Thomas Jackson. As the 1840s gave way to the 1850s, Delafield was engaged in building defenses for New York Harbor. In 1856, after visiting the Crimea as an observer, he was recalled from the field, again being placed in command of West Point. The onset of the Civil War brought Delafield back to New York City as commander of the harbor defenses he had helped construct several years earlier. The crowning achievement of Delafield's career came in 1864 when he became the U.S. Army's Chief Engineer. He retired in 1866 after nearly 50 years serving his country as an able administrator and practical engineer. 

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