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    Ulysses S. Grant Funeral Archive. Comprised of four letters, one Loyal Legion membership card, newspaper, and a strip of black crushed tulle, presumably used as decoration near the body. Ulysses S. Grant, a lifelong, heavy smoker died of throat cancer on July 23, 1885. The body laid in state in Albany until it was moved to New York City, where an estimated 1.5 million people gathered to pay their respects. The funeral was held on August 8, 1885. General Winfield Scott Hancock, commander of the Division of the Atlantic, supervised the services which included a procession of over 60,000 people, including former Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston who served as a pallbearer.

    Among the mourners was Captain Orlando H. Ross, a cousin of Grant's who served as his aide-de-camp during the war until he resigned his commission in September 1864. Ross was working for the Treasury Department in Washington when he heard of the death of his former commander and he immediately sent a letter to General William T. Sherman, the commanding General of the Army, asking to attend the funeral. On August 2, he received a letter from General Winfield S. Hancock stating: "General Sherman has sent to me your communication to him . . . I have referred your letter to General Horace Porter A.D.C. Please report to him at his office . . . so that you may be properly placed; or, otherwise, to General Daniel E. Sickles, who is charged by me with the disposition of the Veterans not under arms other than retired officers." The following day he received a second letter giving further details: "An arrangement has been made with the assent of General Hancock to have General Grant's staff ride in carriages next to the family on the day of the funeral. General Rufus Ingalls is the senior survivor . . . and can give any information about where the staff will meet on the morning of the funeral."

    Ross immediately boarded a train and headed for New York City. Having arrived on August 6, he sent a letter home confirming that he got a room at the International Hotel commenting that "the city is packed and will be jammed by tomorrow." The next day, he sent another letter regarding the state of the city saying, "You never witnessed such a crush of people, over 200000 have now passed by the remains [of Grant] it is presumed even 50000 will be in line tomorrow."

    Grant laid in state until his funeral on August 8, 1885, where he was laid to rest in his tomb (the largest mausoleum in North America, on the island of Manhattan.


    More Information:

    Winfield Scott Hancock Letter Signed. Two pages with integral blank, 8" x 10.5", New York, August 2, 1885, to Orlando H. Ross in response to a request to attend Grant's funeral, in part: "General [William T.] Sherman has sent to me your communication to him . . . in which you express your desire, as a former member of General Grant's staff to attend . . . the obsequies of General Grant on the 8th instant. I have referred your letter to General Horace Porter A.D.C. Please report to him at his office . . . so that you may be properly placed; or, otherwise, to General Daniel E. Sickles, who is charged by me with the disposition of the Veterans not under arms other than retired officers."

    Orlando H. Ross Autograph Letter Signed "Orley." Two pages, 5.75" x 9", New York, August 6, 1885. Two days before the funeral of President Ulysses S. Grant, Captain Orlando Ross, who had once served as aide-de-camp to Grant during the war, arrived in New York to bid farewell to his cousin and former commander. Writing home, Ross informs them that he has secured a room at the International Hotel as "the city is packed and will be jammed by tomorrow."

    Orlando H. Ross Autograph Letter Signed "Orley." One page, 5.75" x 7.75", New York, August 7, 1885. Writing from New York for the funeral of President Grant, Captain Ross writes home describing the scene, in part: "You never witnessed such a crush of people, over 200000 have now passed by the remains [of Grant] it is presumed even 50000 will be in line tomorrow."

    Autograph Letter Signed to Orlando H. Ross. Two integral pages, 5" x 8", New York, August 3, 1885. Ross, who had served as aide-de-camp to Grant during the war received this letter regarding his former commander's funeral, in part: "An arrangement has been made with the assent of General [Winfield Scott] Hancock to have General Grant's staff ride in carriages next to the family on the day of the funeral. General Rufus Ingalls is the senior survivor . . . and can give any information about where the staff will meet on the morning of the funeral."

    [Newspaper]. The National Republican. Four integral pages, 19" x 23.5", Washington, August 9, 1885. Issued the day after the funeral of President Ulysses S. Grant as a memorial edition entirely about the life of the general.

    Orlando H. Ross Military Order, Loyal Legion of the U. S. Membership Card. 4" x 2.5". Ross served as aide-de-camp to the commander in chief of the order in Washington, D.C.



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    October, 2013
    17th-18th Thursday-Friday
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