Lot 80: Civil War–dated ALS signed "J. A. Garfield," one page both sides, 8 x 10, December 22, 1862. Letter to a colonel, in part: "Allow me, though late to offer you my congratulations that you have at last got a place…equal to your merits. I am delighted with the prospect of having your regiment with me and shall do everything in my power to secure such a result. I have been so long kept in this court that my impatience has sometimes amounted almost to despair of getting into the field at all—but I hope we are drawing toward the close of our long siege. In regard to the formation of Brigades of course I cannot not tell what our material will be or how large my command—though I know the intention now is to give me a Division—But if it can be done I shall be very ready to do anything for you in my power—I hope we shall before long see the way open for work. The Cabinet seems to be going to pieces and this world of Washington is in such a ferment as had not been seen for many a long day. The war must be a long one—the rebellion cannot be ended till we strike, strike, strike—and strike again—tough bloody blows that cost us fearfully dear, but that at last will break the strength of the South—We have not yet found the General to lead us all—When we find him we shall make swift work." Intersecting folds, toned tape remnants at the top, and the writing and signatures uniformly faded a few shades light, otherwise fine condition.Garfield had entered the Union Army at the start of the war, but returned home in the summer of 1862 to nurse a severe illness. He returned to duty in autumn, first serving on the court that adjudicated the court-martial of Fitz John Porter. The court-martial lasted from November through January, and Garfield mentions his dismay that the trial was holding him back from returning to battle. Vocal about his disagreement with the way the Union was handling itself—citing Washington's politicians as too timid to take decisive actions and calling for the military to use more aggressive tactics in hopes of pulverizing the rebels—he was anxious to get involved. An exquisite wartime letter showcasing Garfield's unbounded patriotism and enthusiasm for his country.
RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 456
Wednesday, 15th July 2015
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