Lot 35: 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, written from City Point, Virginia, 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 a bit of scattered mild dampstaining and mounting remnants to reverse edges lightly showing through.
When Major General Edward Ord took command of the XVIII Corps in 1864, he quickly raised suspicions of illicit trade with the blockaded Port of Norfolk by Union leaders in the department. He suggested that a commission be formed to investigate the trade carried on from the port to the interior of Virginia, focusing on the methods by which Confederate General Robert E. Lee's army received supplies. Grant approved instantly, and within two months 11 people were accused of trading with the enemy and held for trial. An excellent piece regarding the deceit that undermined the extensive Union blockade, and an example of the swift action that made Grant the Union's star general.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 458
Wednesday, 12th August 2015
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