1855. Signed. LONGSTREET, James. Autograph letter signed. Fort Bliss, Texas, October 1, 1855. Single sheet of lined paper, measuring 7-1/2 by 10 inches. $1800.Desirable 1855 autograph letter from James Longstreet to Chief of Ordnance Colonel Henry Knox Craig written while Longstreet was serving on the Texas frontier at Fort Bliss and discussing ordnance stores, twice signed by Longstreet.The letter reads: ""Fort Bliss Texas Oct 1st 1855—Colo. H.K. Craig. Chief of Ordnance. Sir. Enclosed I have the honor to submit my return of the ordnance and ordnance stores belonging to this Post for part of the third quarter of this year. I remain Sir very respect'y Your Mt. Obt. Servt. James Longstreet. Captain 8th Inf. Bt. Maj."" The opposite side bears a return address also in Longstreet's hand and bearing his signed name. This early letter was written by Longstreet to Colonel Henry Knox Craig (later General). In 1855, Longstreet was serving on frontier duty in Texas. He was regarded as a brave veteran of the Mexican-American War who had suffered a thigh wound and endured a lengthy recovery. In Texas, Longstreet was primarily engaged in scouting missions and rather more pedestrian service as a paymaster. He was also already involved in the cause of preserving slavery, planning a strategy to pull Mexico into the Union of a slave state. His correspondent, Colonel Craig, likewise had a distinguished early career and, in the 1830s, was assigned to the Ordnance Corps. He was then made Chief of Ordnance under General Taylor during the Mexican War. When peace came, Craig found a new mission—maintaining arms stores in an era of reduced defense budget allocations. His mission proved prescient as the years of his stockpiling were those that preceded the Civil War. Craig served in an advisory capacity following his retirement during the Civil War and was brevetted brigadier general in 1865 in recognition of his service. Small paper repair and mildly toned fold creases. Near-fine condition. (Inventory #: 105811)
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