War-dated DS as president, signed on the reverse “A. Lincoln,” and twice signed “U. S. Grant, Lt. Gen. USA,” one page both sides, 5.5 x 3, War Department letterhead, December 30, 1864. Official War Department pass issued to A. Holbrook to travel to “City Point Va. to visit Col. Strong 16 NY Arty, dangerously wounded in hospital. Pass expires January 2, 1864.” Pass is signed at the bottom, “Louis H. Pelouze, Asst, Adjt.Genl,” and also “U. S. Grant, Lt. Gen. USA.” Signed on the reverse, “A. Lincoln,” “U. S. Grant, Lt. Gen. USA,” and also signed “Benj. F. Butler, Maj. Genl.” Two official date stamps to front, small cancellation cut to bottom of reverse, and some portions of light toning to edges, otherwise fine condition.
Lincoln would decide to remove Butler from command on the very day this pass was issued, just five days after his failure to take Fort Fisher, North Carolina in a joint army-navy expedition. By 1864, long-term Union advantages in geography, manpower, industry, finance, political organization and transportation were overwhelming the Confederacy. Grant fought a number of bloody battles with Lee in Virginia in the summer of 1864. Lee won in a tactical sense but lost strategically, as he could not replace his casualties and was forced to retreat into trenches around his capital, Richmond, Virginia.
With the exception of autograph albums, in the last 35 years records indicate that, no other single item has been sold with both Lincoln’s and Grant’s signatures. This pass was offered at Sotheby’s in 1985 as part of the Sang Collection and sold for $2,600, at a time when typical Lincoln documents were being sold for around $1,000. A closer point of reference would be Christie’s offering the pairing of a Lincoln letter to Grant and the general’s written response—their signatures appearing on two separate and unofficial documents—in May of 1999, for $150,000. An attractive Lincoln and Grant dual-signed Civil War document of the utmost rarity.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.