Description: This Christmas Day letter from Phisterer remarks that the news from Townsend's last letter to him "was as I expected. I am now packing up, to leave here, and am engaged to secure 2.5 acres of land in Vineland, Cumberland Co., N.J. My object will be to follow fruit raising & to some little extent farming & gardening." Phisterer is under no illusions regarding the hard work and time it will take to establish such a venture, though he sees no problem with that since he is "in good health and strong."
He is also keeping an eye out for a possible storekeeping vacancy, and asks Townsend to let him know if a section of law they had discussed is repealed in the future, as it might affect his choices at that time. He provides his forwarding addresses and offers thanks and good wishes to Townsend and his family before signing off,"I remain dear General yours truly and thankfuly, Fred Phisterer."
The message in the postscript on page three would have been apparent to Townsend, reading between the lines of Phisterer's letters, but he clearly felt the need to put his frustration into words: "I forgot to say, that I have given up the idea of getting into civil service. Politicians are fond of making promises & very tardy in keeping them, it is all talk, and I am tired of waiting, expecting, and hoping."
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 three pages of a single sheet of writing paper that has a faint wave watermark repeated across it. Unfolded, the paper measures approximately 7.13" x 9.38". Item #A00889.
Condition: Fold lines and a few errant spots, but in excellent condition overall, and a tragicomic illustration of how the common perception of politicians has remained the same over the years.