1887 - Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman Writes to a Friend About His Busy Social Schedule

1887 - Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman Writes to a Friend About His Busy Social Schedule
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Price: $595.00


Description: At the beginning of August 1887, from his home in New York City, General Sherman wrote to his friend, Margaret Middleton, who was then staying with relatives in Sharon, Connecticut, to alert her that he had returned to New York City after travels to Halifax, Quebec, Lake George, Milford, Pennsylvania, and Yonkers. He then advised that he was leaving again the next day to go to Lake Hopatcong and then to Hoboken, New Jersey, before writing "Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday of next week I have set apart for Sharon Conn. and Lennox Mass... I will leave the 42nd depot at 10:30 am Monday, August 8, stop at Sharon Station at 1:32. If you are there, I will feel at home. If not, I will work my way to that Inn so near you, and from which you derive your sustainance. It is for you and you alone that I come to Sharon, but I want you to help me to perform some social obligations. I must go to Lennox to see Fannie Smythe Woolsey and I want you to bespeak for me a light carriage and driver to take us to Lennox, and wherever you please. Please order this for me, and give me your time on Tuesday."

He graciously declines a prior offer for a homestay in favor of that local inn, explaining that "A private house is a home which should not be disturbed," before reiterating that he wants Middleton, "friend and confidant of Mary Hunt, to go with me to Lennox, and where ever else her good strong sense may suggest. I must be back to New York Thursday - because Friday morning Rachel will come down from Lake George to go with her on another cruise in the "[?]" to Newport, Narragansett, and Montauk. I am being killed by the kindness of friends, but before I depart I must say that Margaret Middleton seems to me the impersonation of womanly grace and character. I ask no questions but the reason for her remaining unwedded is to me a mystery. She was Mary Hunt's friend, she can respect an old soldier, and has appeared to him now to befriend him." Sherman closes with an unusal expression for him - "God bless you" - before signing off with his typical "W.T. Sherman"

This autograph letter signed is written on all four pages of a sheet of ruled writing paper, measuring approximately 9.25" x 11" when unfolded. While he did not include a return address for himself, Middleton's Connecticut address is written in Sherman's hand. There is a red-brown Washington two cent stamp at the upper right, and multiple black ink cancellations. Item #A01124

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 superintendent 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, with 1/4" separations at the edges of the horizontal folds - two of which have been repaired with a small amount of archival tissue/tape. Otherwise very good condition and an interesting peek at Sherman's exhausting social travel calendar.