Lot 405: Union general (1824–1903) often referred to as 'Baldy' Smith, who was commended for his leadership in the Seven Days Battles and at Antietam, but was relieved of command after his devastating defeat at Fredericksburg. ALS signed "Wm. F. Smith," four pages on two adjoining sheets and the final page on a separate sheet, 4.25 x 6.75 and 4 x 8.25, December 23, 1876. Letter to General Thomas H. Ruger warning him of the consequences of taking an undesirable position in the Hayes/Tilden election controversy, in part: "It is impossible that a Graduate of the Eng. Corps should not have paid enough attention to the questions which have been raised in the various states in the South during the War not to have drawn his own conclusions as to what are the powers of the Federal Government & which are the clear right of the States. Do you recollect what a storm of indignation broke out in the south in 1874 by reason of the action of the Government in using Federal troops in Louisiana…On what does that action in La. Differ from recent action in SC except in the greater intensity in the latter case? Do you feel assured that if Mr. Hayes shall be manipulated he would not be obliged to sacrifice you to appease a very large portion of the most intelligent and respectable Republicans here at the North, whom I can assure you have no sympathy with the introduction of regular troops into questions of purely state elections. These are questions which I propose to you as I think in your interests." Show-through from writing to opposing sides and some smudging to ink, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope, addressed in his own hand.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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