CAPTAIN EDWIN BURR BABBITT (1803-1881) was a career soldier who graduated from the U.S. Military Academy in 1826 and served in various army posts primarily in the Quartermaster’s Department. He was also the army officer responsible for the repair of the Alamo in 1850, which included adding the now familiar hump over the façade, forever changing the local architecture.
Offering Babbitt’s 4 pp, 7 ½ x 9 ¾, ALS to his friend MICHAEL S. CULBERTSON from Hancock Barracks, May 4th, 1843, at the Theological Seminary in Princeton, NJ. Culbertson (January 18, 1819 – August 25, 1862) entered the United States Military Academy at West Point on July 1, 1835, graduating 6th in his class. Culbertson received a commission as Second Lieutenant and served at Rouses Point, NY, during the Aroostook War. He later served with the First Artillery at Fort Preble in Portland, Maine, and Hancock Barracks in Houlton, Maine. Culbertson was ordained by the Presbyterian Church and was sent as a missionary to China by the American Presbyterian Mission.
Babbitt speaks of settling accounts with the Treasury, the late Treaty with England, “the men in the garrison have a flourishing temperance society...Intoxication is rare.” Babbitt plans to deliver an address to the temperance society.
“I hope you will believe me when I say that it was a real pleasure that I received by last mail your friendly letter...
“I knew not before that letter informed me, certainly, where you were, but had heard simply, while in Florida that you had left the Army, with a view to devote yourself to that more exalted service of rescuing sinners from their moral bondage – of serving no longer under the Star-Spangled Banner against our country’s foes. Simply but under the white banner of the prince of Peace doing battle against the great foe of the family of man.
“I desire to write you now in brief upon all such topics as may be thought gratifying to you, and as I do not intend to study any systematic arrangement – I hope you will just take up the items as you find them, transpose and arrange them in your own mind at your leisure.
“Well to commence with self – I left Florida in August last – spent a month or two settling accounts at the Treasury & visiting friends – came here in Novr. Last, relieved Capt. Collins who has gone to Fort Towson.
“Lt. Col. Price is considered our permanent commander of the post & Regt – he is at present at Portland in Command of the Department while Genl. Eustis is absent at the South – Officers now here – Maj. L. Whiting Comdg – Maj. Saunders – Capt. Nauman – Lieuts. Magruder, Burke Hathway, Capron, French, Haskin Martin, Jones and Brennon – Surgn. McLaren & my humble self –
“Companies B., C., F., & J. – ‘H’ at Fort Fairfield – ‘C’ at Fort Kent – Capt. Winders (Maj. K’s) at Eastport – Capt. Dimmick’s Portsmouth – Capt. Porters you left it and the horse company at Newport.
“Capt. Fankess & Lts Mackall (now on leave) Rickets at Fairfield – Capt. Webster & Lt. Donaldson and some Bots at Kent – Hill & Donaldson with a Sergt & Corpl & 16 pvts are detailed for duty with the joint commissioners for running the boundary under the late Treaty with England.
“Houlton has improved considerably since you left in worldly things – Several new and genteel edifices have been erected between this & the creek & some across the creek.
“I don’t know that in a moral point of view there has been much advance in the character of this place, and yet I can but feel that it is a little more elevated – I perceive no gratifying indications of the presence of any special religious interest at this Post.
“...The men in garrison have a very flourishing temperance society – numbering I believe near one half the command, say 120, and their influence is very excellent over the remainder. The troops here are in fine condition & intoxication is rare. I promised to deliver an address to the T Society next week – I should prefer that you were here to do it...We are about to open the Sabbath school which you took charge of, above the Unitarian Church...
“I do not know whether any tracts were recd. here.. as closing was received before I came here. With respect to the ‘convention of military ministers’ I am not able to perceive that anything which they have done can be of much practical utility – though none can doubt their zeal & sincerity of purpose...
“In reference to the change of your profession, I am happy that you do feel the responsibility which necessarily devolve upon you in your ministerial character – sustained and guided by the Holy Spirit...”
In excellent condition with integral address leaf. Green round Houlton, ME, postmark. Small seal tear.
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