1863 Autograph Letter Signed by Union General William B. Franklin, Recommending Promotion of 128th New York Officer on Staff

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1863 Autograph Letter Signed by Union General William B. Franklin, Recommending Promotion of 128th New York Officer on Staff

300.00

Item No. 0600586

An interesting September 1863 autograph letter signed by Union General William B. Franklin, then commanding the 19th Corps. Writing to New York Governor Horatio Seymour, Franklin was seeking a promotion for a member of his staff, Lieutenant John J. Williamson of the 128th New York. Franklin mentioned that Williamson had served ably on his staff for several months and, while detached from his regiment, had missed opportunities for promotion. Whether Franklin’s influence played a role or not, Williamson’s promotion didn’t come through until the following May. The letter reads, in full:

Head Quarters 19 Corps
near Bisland La. Sep. 28, 1863

My dear Sir
I have on my staffs ordnance officer a 1st Lieut. of F Co. 128 Regt N.Y. Volunteers. He is an exceedingly fine officer, and the consequence has been that he has been on staff duty of one kind or other since May 21, 1863. Not being with his regiment, other officers have been recommended for, and have received promotion over his head, leaving him where he started, while sergeants have gone up to Captaincys.

If his detachment from his Regiment were from any desire on his part to avoid duty in the line, it would be just that he should not have promotion in the Regt. But I know that he has simply obeyed orders.

These details of line officers on duty as staff officers are absolutely necessary, and as a general thing the best young officers are selected for them. It is hard that their very efficiency should work against their promotion.

I therefore respectfully recommend that Lt. John J. Williamson of F Co. 128 N.Y. Regt be promoted to the rank of Captain whenever a vacancy happens, believing that no more able officer of his grade can be found for the position.

If you can do anything to expedite his promotion, by doing it you will confer a personal favor on me.

Very respy & truly your friend
W. B. Franklin
Maj Gen Comdg Corps

Hon Horatio Seymour
Governor of the State of New York
Albany N.Y.

Docketed on reverse.

The letter was written on a stationery sheet measuring about 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. It is in excellent condition with light but even toning throughout. Slight separation on the center fold extending about 1 1/2”, else holding nicely. Creased where originally folded.

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