Lot 24: U. S. Grant, Civil War-dated ALS signed “U. S. Grant
11th January 2017
Civil War-dated ALS signed “U. S. Grant, Lt. Gen.,” two pages, 5 x 8, Headquarters Armies of the United States letterhead, January 19, 1865. Letter to Major General Edward O. C. Ord, in full: “Your private note of this date is rec’d. I think your suggestion to appoint a Commission to investigate into the Norfolk trade matter a good one. I could not suggest better names for the Commission than those named by you. Go on with it and lose no time in having the Commission commence its work.” In fine condition, with light show-through from old tape along one edge of each page. On December 1, 1864, the port of Norfolk opened to commerce. Free of the red tape that slowed and restricted previous trade routes between the North and South, merchants bartered and sold without provocation within this neutral territory. During this period, the Union War Department, aroused by rumors that trade of war contraband was being steered through Norfolk, ordered General Grant to appoint a military commission to examine and try individuals suspected of supplying the Confederacy with unauthorized food, aid, or weaponry. Over the course of three days, from January 23-25, the commission heard testimonies from over fifty witnesses.
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