July 1864 Document Endorsement Signed by Union Generals Oliver O. Howard, John A. Logan, and Joseph A. J. Lightburn

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July 1864 Document Endorsement Signed by Union Generals Oliver O. Howard, John A. Logan, and Joseph A. J. Lightburn

595.00

Item No. 7801459

An interesting July 1864 letter endorsement signed by Union Generals Oliver O. Howard, John A. Logan, and Joseph A. J. Lightburn. The original document is a request written to General Lorenzo Thomas in the Adjutant General’s Office by Captain Francis DeGress, commanding Battery H, 1st Illinois Light Artillery. DeGress was seeking the discharge of Joseph Magin, a musician who had enlisted at 15, citing the young man’s fragile constitution. The back page of the document includes several endorsements from various officers in the chain of command, including Lightburn at division, Logan commanding the 15th Corps, and Howard commanding the Army of the Tennessee. Howard’s signature includes a data stamp. The matter was ultimately closed when an officer in the Adjutant General’s Department stated that “if this soldier is unfit for military service, as stated within, he should be discharged on Surgeon’s Certificate of disability.” DeGress’s original letter reads:

Head Qrs Co. “H” 1st Ill Lt Arty
Near Atlanta Ga July 24th 1864

Brig Genl L. Thomas
Adjutant General U.S.A.

Sir:
I have the honor to lay before you a statement of facts, which I beg of you to consider and on which I base the request that an order may be issued discharging “Joseph Magin,” a member of the Band of the 1st Brigade 2nd Division 15th A.C. Joseph Magin, a weakly German boy of 17 years of age, wanted to enlist some 2 years ago into my Battery. As a friend of his I tried to persuade him to stay at home with his aged parents, he being their only son, but as he threatened to enlist into the infantry, which I knew he was unable to stand (being only 15 years old). I advised him, being a musician, to join the above band, as their leader assured me that he would only have to serve the term of ht band, which expires in a few days July 29th 1864. Soon after his enlistment his poor father, a man of 65 years of age, who was willing for his only child and support to serve his country for a few years, was struck down with disease and for the last 18 months has not been able to leave his bed. The poor boy has been sickly most of the time, but expecting to go home soon he kept up. Now he has been told that he would have to serve out his term of 3 years, which would keep him in the service until November 15th 1865. Having persuaded him to enlist into the band I now make this effort to get his discharge and respectfully beg that my request may be granted. I have the honor to remain
Very Respectfully
Your Obdt Servt
Francis De Gress, Capt.
Comd’g Battery “H” 1st Ill Lt Arty

The letter was written on a stationery sheet measuring about 7 3/4” x 9 3/4”. It is in excellent condition with very light toning and creases where originally folded.

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