• [Antietam, Scary Creek] Maj. Gen. Cox Probes Rail Distress

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    MAJOR GENERAL JACOB D. COX (Oct. 27, 1828 – Aug. 4, 1900) was an abolitionist, educator and polarizing figure in American history. He supported the anti-slavery Whigs and Free Soil Party and served as a delegate to the first Republican Party Convention of 1855. In 1858, he was elected to the Ohio State Senate, where he joined with senators James A. Garfield and James Monroe to promote legislation friendly to the Union.


    In 1861, he entered the Union Army as a brigadier general of the Ohio volunteers, serving under Gen. George McClellan in western Virginia.  Cox’s troops – the Kanawha Division – advanced to Charleston in 1861, then rerouted to Gauley Bridge and fought Gen. Henry Wise at the Battle of Scary Creek in West Virginia. Cox remained in the Kanawha Valley to fortify it against repeated Confederate attacks.


    Cox and his men fought in the Battle of South Mountain on Sept. 14, 1862, the opening engagement of the Maryland Campaign. There he temporarily succeeded to command the IX Corps on the death of Jesse Reno and led it at Antietam. He and his men played a key role in turning back the Confederate surge at Franklin and Nashville.


    Post-war, Cox became Governor of Ohio and President of the Toledo, Wabash and Western Railroad [Research included].


    MELVILLE INGALLS (1842-1914) was a Harvard graduate, one-time Massachusetts state Legislator and president of the troubled Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Lafayette Railroad.


    3 pp, 8 x 10, LS by Cox on Toldeo, Wabash & Western Railway Receiver’s Office stationary, Sept. 15, 1878, Toledo, Oho, to Ingalls, regarding financial difficulties of the railroad.


    In part, “…I was not aware of the arrangement referred to in the letter of Mr. Malcolm until my return, it having been made under the general authority left with Col. Andrews and Mr. Malcolm. The latter has been obliged to go to the passenger agent meeting and I had only time before he left to say to him that I desired no decisive steps to be taken until his return when I will learn fully his views and the facts which he has thought it necessary to act. He had only time to say to me in brief that the practical working of matters during the summer have shown that we could not divert business at our option and that a sufficient amount of travel in spite of all that had been done was going by the Danville route to make it a sort of necessity to recognize it in some way by a fair show of neutrality. My earnest desire as I expressed it to you is to make the new arrangement to complete success and I am disappointed at this report…but I will look closely at the facts…


    “On another matter, I would like to say to you confidentially that I learned in New York that there is a probability that Mr. ? will succeed in making some arrangements with the bondholders of the Bloomington branch looking toward a consolidation of the Line from Muncie to Bloomington under one Management.


    “I have found our own bondholders holding so low an opinion of the value of that branch that they were apparently unwilling to take any steps to present such a consummation though some matters must first elapse. I now mention it to you so that you may be prepared for any contingencies it may present…”


    Folds, expected toning, storage holes in the left margin, affecting nothing. Very readable, well written and a fine piece of railroad Americana involving a Civil War hero and abolitionist.


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