General Ulysses S. Grant War Date Endorsement

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Self-contained war-dated endorsement, signed “U. S. Grant,” one page, 3.25 x 6.25, dated September 14, 1864. Written in another hand, Grant recommends New York Governor Horatio Seymour approve a general’s request, in full: “Respectfully forwarded to his Exc’y Horatio Seymour Governor of the State of New York, with the recommendation that for the good of the service, and to promote the efficiency of the Engineer Brigade, the requests of Gen. Benham be granted.” Boldly signed at the conclusion by Grant. In very good to fine condition, with light show-through from mounting remnants to reverse. Included also is a nice 5 X 7 high quality reproduction photo of Grant at Cold Harbor in June 1864 (taken just a few months prior to signing this endorsement).

The requesting officer, Henry W. Benham, commanded the engineer brigade of the Army of the Potomac and was an expert in the construction of pontoon bridges. As he oversaw companies of New York engineers, his request to the state’s governor was presumably for increased manpower or supplies. During this period Benham and his men were very active in the Siege of Petersburg, where they were key participants in enabling Union troop movements via bridges. Ironically, the recipient of this letter would come to play a crucial role in Grant’s political career four years later as the Democratic presidential nominee in the 1868 presidential election.

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