Lot 13: U. S. Grant handwritten signed letter
10th October 2018
ALS, two pages on two adjoining sheets, 4.75 x 7.75, February 8, 1885. Letter to "Hon. S. J. Randall, Chairman of Committee on Appropriations." In full: "I have just learned that your Committee has left out the appropriation for the pay of General Marcus J. Wright, who has been engaged for some years in furnishing Confederate reports, dispatches, returns of troops &c. &c. for the Rebellion Record, which is now being published by the War Department. I hope this omission may be corrected. These records furnish most of the data for future histories written about the war of the rebellion. General Wright has no doubt furnished more of the material from the southern side than all other persons combined, leaving out those captured by the Army, and others purchased by Congress. I think his services will be valuable for some years yet if he is retained." In overall fine condition. Accompanied by two ALSs by Wright, each one page, dated 1880 and 1897, one referencing "the letter book of Gen. Lee" and the other discussing "General Lee's original letters to Gen. Grant regarding negotiations for surrender at Appomatox [sic]." In 1878, former Confederate General Marcus J. Wright was appointed as the War Department's agent for collecting Confederate military records. Grant's intercession on his behalf appears to have been successful, as Wright would remain in the role until 1917. His work became the basis for the southern half of the War Department's massive 127-volume publication War of the Rebellion: Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies. A superb letter revealing Grant's interest in the collection and preservation of primary source materials from "the war of the rebellion."
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