1886 - Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman Invites a Friend to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show

1886 - Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman Invites a Friend to Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show
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Price: $595.00


Description: In this brief letter written from his home in New York City on Christmas Eve, 1886, Sherman invites his friend, Margaret Middleton, to accompany him to Buffalo Bill's Wild West show at Madison Square Garden a few days later: "I have tickets for the Wild West for Tuesday Evening, Dec. 28. Will you kindly form one of the party? I will call for you at 7:30 pm, and also escort you home." Sherman had previously invited Middleton to see the Wild West show (at this time technically titled "The Drama of Civilization") approximately a month earlier, around the time that it had opened for its 13 week engagement at the Garden, but it is not clear if they attended together at that time and are here making plans for a second trip, or if this would be their first visit to the show together. He signs off the letter: "With great respect, W.T. Sherman"

Written on a single page of ruled writing paper. The full sheet measures approximately 9.25" x 11" when unfolded. Also included here is the transmittal envelope with a red-brown Washington two cent stamp, and three black-ink cancellations. He did not include a return address for himself, but Middleton's address is written in Sherman's hand. Item # A01007

William Tecumseh Sherman (1820-1891) served in the US military for a number of years before resigning to spend more than a decade as a banker, businessman, and superintendant of a military academy. He rejoined the military for the US Civil War, becoming one of its most famous generals for leading Union troops across the south in "scorched earth" campaigns. After the War he continued his military career and was promoted to General of the Army, his troops primarily fighting Native Americans along the wagon trails and railroads. In retirement, he was a constant presence at New York's theatres, lectures, and galleries, and also occasionally thrilled audiences at speaking engagements.

Margaret Lee Middleton (1848-1921) was a Manhattan socialite, who was a skilled and respected genealogist and librarian for many years. She also dedicated a portion of her time to work with charitable organizations. Like Sherman, she was an aficionado of theatre and the arts. Although she was nearly three decades younger than Sherman, the two struck up a close relationship in the 1880s based on their common interests, and often attended events together. It seems they may have been introduced by mutual friend, Mary Thompson Hunt, whose 1884 death brought them closer.

Condition: Fold lines, including one through the signature. Generally in very good condition, and a fun insight into the interest General Sherman seems to have had for Buffalo Bill's show.