Description: Phisterer was job-searching from his New Jersey home in late November of 1871, when he wrote this letter to his old friend Townsend. "In yesterday's papers I see the appointment of General Arthur [later, US President Chester A. Arthur] to the Collectorship of New York, also that he was at one time on Governor Morgan's staff. Thinking that perhaps you know him well enough to do something for me in that quarter, I take the liberty to suggest & request it... As far as I know, the Collector makes the appointments & the Secretary of the Treasury confirms, this would probably do away with the necessity of obtaining Senator's and Congressmen's endorsement, especially if you should be well acquainted with General Arthur."
Phisterer then reminds Townsend of all the positions he held in the US Army, to "give an idea of what I can do in offices; also that I am no politician, which now a days ought to be a recommendation." He finishes by apologizing for bothering his friend with such a request, and closes by signing "Thankfully & sincerely yours, Fred Phisterer."
Frederick Phisterer (1836-1909) received the Medal of Honor for passing along information "under a heavy fire" at the Battle of Stones River (Murfreesboro), in Tennessee in 1862. The information was credited with saving a battalion of regular troops from "capture or annihilation." Later in life, Phisterer compiled the 6 volume New York in the War of the Rebellion.
General Frederick Townsend (1825-1897) was an Officer of the US Army’s 18th Infantry. He also served three terms as Adjutant General of the State of New York, both before the Civil War, from 1857-1861, and after, from 1880-1882. Phisterer served as Townsend’s Adjutant of the 2nd Battalion in Stones River/Murfreesboro.
Written on pages one and three of a single folded sheet of Phisterer's stationery, with an elaborate blindstamped P at the top of page one. The paper is faintly marked with gridlines to guide one's writing. Unfolded, the paper measures approximately 8" x 10.5". Item #A00888.
Condition: Fold lines. There is staining, mirror-imaged at either side of the horizontal fold, which does blur/obscure small portions of the text; though it comes quite close to the signature, it does not obscure any of it.Good condition overall, and an interesting portrait of 19th Century networking.