• 4 Letters: Lincoln's Re-election, Rebels Taken Prisoner, Democracy's Downfall

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    Abraham Lincoln’s re-election in 1864 was by no means certain. Lincoln himself thought he could easily lose. Nine previous presidents in a row had served only one term. Lincoln’s embrace of the emancipation was a problem for many Northern voters. Union victories at Gettysburg and Vicksburg were strong but Southern armies came back fighting with a vengeance. In September 1864, Grant took Atlanta and the direction of Lincoln’s popularity shifted, providing him with a win of the popular vote, which eluded him in his first election. 


    Offering a nice selection of two Civil War period letters (one home front and one from a soldier), one post-Civil War offering gun powder to the recipient, a fourth 1854 letter about agriculture and market prices in Ohio and a clipped patriotic cover. 


    Our home front letter, 2 pp, Nov. 13, 1864, written to Private George Hensle provides an enthusiastic expression of Lincoln’s re-election and the transcription follows: “Dear George, “I substitute a blank W Bill [way bill] for want of other suitable paper which is not on hand to perform a long neglected duty and this is the third attempt, which shall be successful for acceptable is the opportunity of repose from the recent political strife and animosity to enjoy the calm by writing to a good friend. Well the strife is over and the Sovereign people have by the vote…declared that we must and shall be a…freemen blessed, guarded and guided by the God of Nations—I am proud that I voted for my country—glad, too, to see the downfall of ‘Democracy’ such as it is – I am of the fact that we have checked the vaunting ambition of that god of Democracy, McClellan – God bless our country, our Rulers and the American people… 


    “Has Unial (?) got released or exchanged. Where is John now and…how is Harry getting along with his store…You did mention the decease of…Pasmou in a former letter. I know nothing of our friend Mayers—hope he is doing well. 


    “What is the matter with R.O.G. ‘selling out’ as I see by the ‘Express’ – Where is he going…I hope he has good success in his business…


     “I am now receiving $55 per month. My board is $18 – Boots $12…I shall but little to lay away every month as a contingency for old age and its wants… 


    “It is getting dark and I must close with a good long loud hooray for Lincoln and the Union… 


    “Your old chum “Younich” 


    Unrelated May 19, 1864, 1 1/3 pp, ALS, in pencil, Camp South Mountain, VA. George G. Myers, writing to his wife, “…We will be here for some time for the Rebels have burnt the bridge at Harper's Ferry, which is twenty miles from here. We are going to Washington soon as the bridge is fixed and then I will write again…One of our boys was taken prisoner last night by going too far out there. There is plenty of Rebels here. We had a nice time going over the Mountain, which took us two days. It is thirty miles to the top of Cheat Mountain…” 


    One-page ALS M. Samuel, Jr., of Peters Creek, July 18, 1866, writing to George Hensle of Quarryville, PA: “There is 29 kegs of powder here with R. jones that you can have 10 kegs #10 kegs. I wish you would send for it as soon as convenient. I will advise you as soon as the rifle powder will come…” The recipient could be George Hensle (1823-1892), the owner of a local hardware store. Cover included. 


    Five-page ALS, Noble County, Ohio, Nov. 30, 1854, a sister writes to her brother regarding the raising of tobacco and corn and the prices. Letters have normal folds, toning. 


    The home front letter has some fold tears reinforced with archival tape. The soldier’s letter is in pencil. The clipped patriotic cover is soiled and tattered.


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