ALS signed “A. Lincoln,” one page, 5 x 8, February 12, 1863. Letter to General Henry W. Halleck. In full: “Gen. Meagher, now with me, says the Irish Brigade has had no promotion; and that Col. Robert Nugent & Col. Patrick Kelly, both of that Brigade have fairly earned promotion. They both hold commissions as Captains in the regular Army. Please examine these records with reference to the question of promoting one or both of them.” In very good to fine condition, with a mounting strip along the top edge, and a piece of tape removed from left margin resulting in slight surface paper loss, affecting no writing.
Lincoln, writing on his third-to-last birthday, discusses three soldiers of note in the famed Irish Brigade. Irish immigrant Thomas Francis Meagher began raising troops as soon as the war began, and soon found himself in charge of the ‘Irish Brigade’ that saw action at Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. He resigned his commission shortly after meeting with Lincoln. Patrick Kelly replaced him as commander and led the depleted Irish troops at the Battle of Gettysburg in July; he was later killed in action during the Siege of Petersburg before ever officially being promoted. Nugent was the last commanding officer of the Irish Brigade, and was finally brevetted brigadier general until March 13, 1865. An excellent wartime letter by President Lincoln with a fine association to this well-known brigade.
Ex. Sotheby’s, February 24, 1976; sale 3841, lot 278. Pre-certified PSA/DNA.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.