Jefferson Davis to Oliver Otis Howard, August 7, 1854

War Department officer’s commission for Howard, signed by then-Secretary of War Jefferson Davis

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War Department,
August 7, 1854.


You are hereby informed, that, on the by and with the advice
^and consent of the Senate, the President of the United States ^hasappointed you a Brevet Second
Lieutenant in the Ordnance Department Regiment of 
—————————in the service of the United States: shouldto rank
as such from the first day of July, eighteen hundred and fifty four.
the Senate, at their next session, advise and consent thereto, you
will be commissioned accordingly.

You will, immediately on receipt hereof, please to communicate
to this Department, through the Adjutant General's Office, your
acceptance or non=acceptance of said appointment; and, in case of
accepting , you will govern yourself by the directions
contained in the accompanying General Order, no. 11.

Jefferson Davis
Secretary of War

Bvt. 2d Lieut. Oliver O. Howard,
Ordnance Department,
Leeds, Me.

Note.--Fill up, subscribe and return to the Adjutant General of the Army with your letter of acceptance, the oath herewith enclosed, reporting at the same time your age, residence when appointed, and the State in which you were born.

Cite as: Jefferson Davis to O.O. Howard, 1854 August 7, Document Signed, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

L. Prang & Co. to Oliver Otis Howard, January 1, 1862

Publishing company solicits information about Howard for inclusion on a book about Union generals.

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Dear Sir;--

We are about to publish a Biographical
Work under the above title of “The Union Generals”
to be illustrated with a large number of line-engraved
portraits of the Generals engaged in the present War
for the Union. The Book, in neat pocket form,
well bound and to be sold at a low price, will be
issued in a few weeks.

We beg leave to solicit from you, for this object,
a brief sketch of your life, comprising some dates,
such as those of your birth, graduation, marriage
and various appointments, promotions and other im-
portant events—especially those relating to your par-
ticipation in this War. We expect this book will
be sold extensively to the troops engaged in our
sacred cause, and trust their zeal, patriotism and
energetic support of their worthy leaders may be,
 if possible, somewhat enhanced thereby.

Please answer immediately, and say whether
we may have the sketch from your hand, or, if not,
how otherwise it may be obtained. What you
can write impromptu in an hour even, if no
more, will be most acceptable and will be very
gratefully acknowledged by presenting to you a
copy of our book with abundant thanks and whatever
else you may require in our line.

Respectfully Your Most Obt.
L. Prang & Co.
34 Merchants Row, Boston, Mass.
520 7th St., Washington, D.C.
Jan. 1, 1862.

Cite as: L. Prang & Co. to O.O. Howard, 1862 January 1, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

John Moeser to Oliver Otis Howard, July 2, 1863

The sexton of the Evergreen Cemetery itemizes damages done by Howard’s troops at Gettysburg.

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Cemetry Grounds, Gettysville, Pa.
July 2, 1863
Gen. Howard
Comdr. 11th Army Corps

The Subscriber, the sexton
of this cemetry most Respect
fully requests you to secure
him, who is only a poor
man, from the loss of his
property by the arroga
tion of this Cemetry Grounds
and the destruction of my
private property by your Army.
The following property
has either been destroyed
or has been used by your

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and other troops of the
U.S. or Vol. Army, to wit:

5000 lb of hay
$25.00 worth of gras
25 bushel of potatoes
$15.00 worth of sundry greens
One good milk cow.

I remain

Yours Most Respectfully,
John Moeser

Cite as: John Moeser to O.O. Howard, 1863 July 2, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

W.T. Sherman to Oliver Otis Howard, December 18, 1863

Gen. William T. Sherman writes to express his respect for Howard, after meeting him in person for the first time.

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Head Qrs. Dept of the Tenn.
Chattanooga, Dec 18, 1863.

Maj Genl OO Howard,
Com'd 11th Corps.

Dear General,

As the events of War brought
us together and have as suddenly parted
us, I cannot deny myself the
pleasure it gives me to express to you
the deep personal respect I entertain
for you. I had known you by repu-
tation, but it needed the opportunity
our short campaign gave me to appre
ciate one who mingles so gracefully
and perfectly the polished Christian
Gentleman and the prompt, zeal
ous, and Gallant Soldier. I am

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not in the habit of flattering, but I
have deemed it my duty to express
to Genl Grant and others in whom
I confide not only the satisfaction but
the great pleasure I experienced in being
associated with you in our late ^short but
most fruitful campaign. Not only
did you do all that circumstances
required, but you did it in a spirit
of cheerfulness that was reflected in
the conduct and behavior of your
whole command. I beg you will
convey to Genl Schurs, Col Rushbeck
and all your officers the assurance
of my personal & official respect.

Should Fortune bring us together
again in any capacity, I will deem
myself most fortunate, and should

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it ever be in my power ^to serve you, I beg you will
unhesitatingly call on me as a Friend.

With great respect

Your friend,

W.T. Sherman
Maj Genl.

Cite as: W.T. Sherman to O.O. Howard, 1863 December 18, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Rev. William Vaux to Oliver Otis Howard, September 21, 1864

Rev. Vaux is denounced to secretary of war as a Rebel; here he makes a plea to Howard to defend his character.

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Columbian Hospital, Washington, D.C.,
Sep. 21st, 1864.

My dear Genl.

I have been appointed, by the President,
through Brig. Genl. W.S. Ketchum, to this place,
where I arrived and entered on active duty
on Thursday last, and am grieved to find a
“thorn in the flesh,” in the shape of a malicious
opposition from some of the underlings in E.
Tenn. who have slanderously denounced me
to the Sec. of War, as a rebel, and unworthy my

My good friend, Maj. Pelouze suggests that,
as you were in London, and saw something of
me, you can do me a great service by favor=
ing me with a few lines, in refutation of
these reports, which seek the ruin of myself and

I add, by way of apology for this intrusion,
that my anxiety prompts the course I have
here taken, and that a good word from you
may effectually serve an old servant of the
Lord, who desires to do his humble duty.

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Praying that a gracious Provider may
watch over and protect you, I am, with
much esteem,
Your Obliged humble Servt.
William Vaux,
Chaplain U.S.A

Maj. Genl. O.O. Howard,
Comdg Depart. Tennessee,
Atlanta, Georgia.

Cite as: Rev. W. Vaux to O.O. Howard,1864 September 21, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

Wm Oland Bourne to Oliver Otis Howard, November 21, 1865

Bourne, publisher of The Soldier's Friend newspaper, asks Howard to participate in a contest that encourages “Left Armed Soldiers” to improve their penmanship.

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New York, Nov. 21, 1865.
Office of the “Soldier’s Friend,”

Major General O.O. Howard,

I have sent you
copies of “The Soldier’s Friend,” which I
publish, and which I hope has reached
your hands. Whether in the press of your
duties you have been able to spare time
to examine them I am in doubt.

Permit me to call attention to
a feature which is attracting a good
deal of interest. It is the Premium
to the “Left Armed Soldiers” for original
essays and specimens of Penmenship.
You will see by the prospectus enclosed
that I have enlisted an eminent
Committee of Award.

I desire the influence of your

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name and character to this effort
on behalf of our soldiers. Already, many
specimens have been sent in, and from
the assurances made I hope for a
very honorable representation of the
moral and intellectual character of
the army.

While I hesitate somewhat
in asking you for your contribution
to the work, I still feel that with
the generous spirit you have manifested,
and your Christian sympathy with
all that concerns the best interests of
the rank and file, as with on the
lowly and the oppressed, you only
need to have your attention called to
this effort, in order to secure your favor.

I would deem it a privilege, not
less than an honor to have from your
pen, a narration of your work in the

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Army, and an essay on any one of
the great practical topics of national
or Christian reform in which you
are interested.

I am endeavoring to make my
paper a practical and serviceable
instrument for the Army and Navy,
and for the masses of the Community,
North and South. I want the coop-
eration of true, earnest, Christian men
in my work.

I know you will excuse my
freedom in this application, and I
trust you will find it within your
power to spare an hour or two to the
opportunity of thus aiding a benevolent

I am very respectfully
Your Obedient Servant
Wm Oland Bourne
Ed. Soldier’s Friend.

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To The
Left-Armed Soldiers of the Union.

There are many men now in the hospital, as well as at their homes, who have lost their right arms, or whose right arm is so disabled that they can not write with it. Penmanship is a necessary requisite to any man who wants a situation under the Government, or in almost any business establishment. As an inducement to the class of wounded and disabled soldiers here named to make every effort to fit themselves for lucrative and honorable positions, we offer the following premiums:

For the best specimen of left-hand penmanship,......$200
For the second best specimen,......150
For the third best specimen,.......100
For the fourth best specimen,........50

The specimens of penmanship must be written with ink, on fine letter-paper of the ordinary size (eight by ten inches), and not to be less than two pages.

The literary part of the work may be original or selected. Brief essays on patriotic themes, and especially narratives of the writer’s experience in the service of the country, incidents, or sketches of the war, are preferred. In all cases the writer must give his name in full, his company, regiment, and rank; list of battles in which he was engaged, as complete as possible; the place where he lost his arm, with the date; and his post-office address. An inch margin must be left at the sides and top and bottom of the paper. Should a sufficient number of specimens be sent in, they will be placed on exhibition; and the proceeds, if sufficient, will be devoted to the publication of a memorial volume containing the prize essays, a list of contributors, etc., a copy of which will be sent to each competitor.

The undersigned has the honor to announce that the following gentlemen will act as the

His Excellency Reuben E. Fenton, Governor of New-York.
Rev. Henry W. Bellows, D.D., President Sanitary Commission.
William Cullen Bryant.
George William Curtis.
Howard Potter,                    ] Executive Committee
William E. Dodge Jr.,            ] Bureau of Employment,
Theodore Roosevelt,             ] New- York.

After the award shall have been made, the editor of The Soldier’s Friend is to have the right to publish such of the contributions as may be best adapted for publication, and the manuscripts will be bound up and preserved as a memorial of the brave.

The manuscripts must be sent in on or before the 1st of January, 1866. Time will thus be allowed for the men wounded in the last battles near Richmond to enter the lists as competitors.

The manuscripts must be wrapped around a wooden roller, to avoid folding or crushing in transportation, and must be addressed to
             WM. OLAND BOURNE,
             Editor of “The Soldier’s Friend,”
             No. 12 Centre-street, New-York.

Editors of newspapers throughout the country are respectfully requested to republish the above.

Cite as: Wm. Oland Bourne to O.O. Howard, 1865 November 21, ALS, Oliver Otis Howard Papers, Bowdoin College Library, Brunswick, Maine.

George J. Mitchell Department of Special Collections & Archives · Staff · Hours
Bowdoin College Library, 3000 College Station, Brunswick, Maine 04011-8421 · · (207) 725-3288