Lot 27: War-dated ALS signed "U. S. Grant, Lt. Gen.," one page both sides, 7.75 x 10, Head Quarters Armies of the United States letterhead, May 9, 1865. Letter to Postmaster General William Dennison. In full: "Col. A. H. Markland, Special Agt. of the P.O. Dept., has followed the Armies under me, with their Mails, from the breaking out of the rebellion to the present day. How well he has performed his duties I need not tell you. It has been performed more than satisfactorily to me. Now that he is about settling with the Govt. for his past service, I beg to state that from my knowledge of the nature of his duties a less sum than Five dollars ($5.00) per day would not remunerate him for his extra expenses." A couple repaired edge separations to mailing folds and light soiling, otherwise fine condition. Accompanied by a letter to Markland from Alexander W. Randall, dated May 17, 1865, stating that he will receive compensation of four dollars per day.
Grant first met Markland during his teenage years when both were attending Maysville Seminary, reconnecting in 1861 when Markland arrived in Cairo as a special agent of the Post Office Department to weed out disloyal employees. Grant placed Markland in charge of delivering mail to his army, and he continued as special agent of the Post Office for the rest of the Civil War, earning the honorary title of colonel and the gratitude of many officers, especially Grant and William T. Sherman, who appreciated the effect on soldier morale of prompt mail delivery. This letter comes just a month after General Robert E. Lee's surrender at Appomattox, as Grant was tying up loose ends before moving on to other things.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 453
Sunday, 17th May 2015
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