A rare Abraham Lincoln letter recommending the promotion of members of the Irish Brigade sold for $23,874 according to Boston-based RR Auction
The one-page letter signed by Lincoln, dated February 12, 1863. Letter to General Henry W. Halleck. In full: Gen. Meagher, now with me, says the Irish Brigade has had no promotion; and that Col. Robert Nugent & Col. Patrick Kelly, both of that Brigade have fairly earned promotion. They both hold commissions as Captains in the regular Army. Please examine these records with reference to the question of promoting one or both of them.
Lincoln, writing on his third-to-last birthday, discusses three soldiers of note in the famed Irish Brigade. Irish immigrant Thomas Francis Meagher began raising troops as soon as the war began, and soon found himself in charge of the Irish Brigade that saw action at Bull Run, Antietam, and Fredericksburg. He resigned his commission shortly after meeting with Lincoln. Patrick Kelly replaced him as commander and led the depleted Irish troops at the Battle of Gettysburg in July; he was later killed in action during the Siege of Petersburg before ever officially being promoted. Nugent was the last commanding officer of the Irish Brigade, and was finally brevetted brigadier general until March 13, 1865.
An excellent wartime letter by President Lincoln with a fine association to this well-known brigade, said Robert Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction.
Additional highlights include, but are not limited by:
· William Henry Harrison vellum signed appointment document, sold for $74,938.
· James Madison signed letter to a recently unseated governor of Massachusetts, sold for $44,291.
· Thomas Jefferson letter that commends the Quakers efforts, sold for $34,073.
· James Polk letter anticipating the annexation of Texas, sold for $32,540.
· Charles Guiteau letter found in the assassins pocket after shooting President Garfield, sold for $27,872.
Online bidding for The Presidential Collection of Everett Fisher from RR Auction began on March 10, 2016 and concluded on March 17, 2016. More details, including results can be found online at www.rrauction.com.