GRANT, Ulysses S. (1822-1885).] Autograph endorsement signed ("U.S. Grant Maj. Gen."). N.p., [ca late January, early February 1863]. 1 page, 4to, old creases.

[With:] SCATES, Walter Bennett (1808-1886). Letter signed ("Walter B. Scates") to Ulysses S. Grant. Head Quarters, Army of the Mississippi, Before Vicksburg, 31 January 1863. 1 page, 4to, minor soiling. -- JOHNSTON, Noah. Autograph letter signed ("Noah Johnston") to Walter B. Scates. Mount Vernon, Jefferson Co., IL, 22 January 1863. 4 pages, 4to, old creases. -- Together, 3 signed documents joined at hinge. 

Major Noah Johnston writes to Scates on 22 January 1863 asking for "a more comfortable position" for his son who was serving on the gunboat USS Mound City who had fought at “Belmont, Fort Donaldson [sic], Fort Henry, Pittsburg [Landing], and other less scrapes on the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers...and has had many narrow escapes.” He explains, "having spent the most of his time at school, his education and since he conducts himself properly, fits him for a less laborious and more comfortable position. he could have had such a place if he had desired and sought it but his notions of duty to his country induced him to do otherwise." 

Scates forwards Johnston's beseeching letter and asks if Grant can be of any service by “procuring the favor of the Admiral for a clerkship, or some position, in the service" on behalf of Major Johnston's son. He states, "Major General [John Alexander] McClernand who permits me to add his solicitation to mine." All three supplicants had strong Illinois political connections, Johnston being Clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court, Grand Division, at Mount Vernon; Scates having served as a justice of the Illinois Supreme Court; and McClernand, an Illinois politician, having been elected to the House of Representatives before the War and having leap-frogged over scores of qualified military men to be commissioned as a Brigadier General of Volunteers in 1861. McClernand served under Grant in the Western Theater and fought in the battles of Belmont, Fort Donelson, and Shiloh.

Grant responds to the lengthy request in his endorsement: “Respectfully referred to Admiral Porter. I know nothing of the claims of the young man referred to but Col. Scates, Gen. McClernand’s Asst. Adj. Gen. who sends this is one of the best citizens of Ill. And his recommendation may be regarded as reliable. U. S. Grant / Maj. Gen.” 

The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection Lots 79-98; 116; 138-153; and 266

Cowan's is pleased to offer the third installment of Richard B. Cohen's collection of Civil War Brown Water Navy photography. Richard was known to many in the field as a "disciplined collector who maintained a relatively narrow focus having built an important, perhaps unsurpassed collection in his area of specialization." From cartes de visite to large format photographs, this portion of the collection features a noteworthy selection of images of Brown Water Navy warships, among them, the USS BentonChoctawLafayette, and Louisville. Many important identified naval officers are also represented, including an exquisite CDV of the promising young officer, Lieutenant Commander William Gwin, who died of wounds aboard the USS Benton following an artillery duel with Confederate forces at Snyder's Bluff, and an exceptionally large war-date photograph of the controversial commander of the USS Pittsburgh, Egbert Thompson.

This auction also features a premiere selection of autographs and manuscripts from Richard's carefully curated collection. Highlights include a letter from Jefferson Davis to his distant cousin, John J. Pettus, Governor of Mississippi, dated a year before secession, conveying intricate plans for securing armaments in preparation for the war; an Abraham Lincoln signed endorsement; a letter from Admiral D.G. Farragut from New Orleans, offering excellent insight into his "political" thinking as well as his dedication to his work; correspondence from Gideon Welles, David Dixon Porter, U.S. Grant, and W.T. Sherman; and a pair of superb letters with highly descriptive accounts of the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimac.

Provenance:The Richard B. Cohen Civil War Collection

Estimate: $1,500 - $2,500
Price Realized Including Buyer's Premium

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