• General Thomas Sherman Agrees That Tents At Hilton Head, SC, Are Suitable For Negroes, But Not For Whites

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    Offering a very interesting ALS by CAPTAIN HERBERT AUSTIN HASCALL to CAPTAIN LOUIS HENRY PELOUZE and affirmed on the verso by the very distinguished BRIG. GEN. THOMAS WEST SHERMAN regarding sub-standard housing for Negroes in the Civil War and declaring such housing to be appropriate. 

    7 3/4 x 9 1/2 ALS from Hascall to Pelouze, Hilton Head, SC, January 24th, 1862. 

    Hascall writes, “I have the honor to request that an inspection be made of tents, which have been used by Negroes and are not considered suitable for the use of Soldiers.” 

    Responding completely in his hand, Sherman writes, “If these tents are unsuitable for soldiers they still should be preserved for the use of Negroes when called for. 

    “T.W. Sherman 

    “Brig. Gen” 

    Verso also states, “Capt. Hascall requesting an inspection of tents lately used by Negroes 

    “Jan. 14th, 1862” 

    Interesting how Hascall refers to the Negroes without any distinction of rank, but refers to the whites as “Soldiers.”   Black soldiers served in artillery and infantry and performed all noncombat support functions that sustained the army. Blacks also served as carpenters, chaplains, cooks, guards, laborers, nurses, scouts, spies, steamboat pilots, surgeons, and teamsters.

    All three men involved in this letter had distinguished careers in the army.


    HERBERT AUSTIN HASCALL enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant on May 14, 1861, and was commissioned into the U.S. Army 5th Light Artillery. On August 3, 1861, he was commissioned into the U.S. Army Quartermaster’s Department and on July 13, 1862, he was commissioned into the U.S. Army 5th Light Artillery. Hascall’s promotions included Captain, Major and Lieutenant Colonel.

    THOMAS WEST SHERMAN (March 26, 1813 – December 31, 1879) was a United States Army Officer during the Mexican-American War and the Civil War. He graduated from West Point on July 1, 1836, and was commissioned a second lieutenant in the 3rd U.S. Artillery Regiment. Sherman would eventually become its commander.  During the war with Mexico, he distinguished himself in the Battle of Buena Vista on February 23, 1847, and was brevetted to major for meritorious conduct. When the Civil War began, Sherman was serving as a major in the 3rd Artillery when President Abraham Lincoln appointed him to Brigadier General on August 6, 1861. He assumed command of ground forces in the Port Royal Expedition.  He and his force captured Port Royal in a combined Army/Navy operation.  He was later sent to the Western Theater where he took command of the Right Wing of Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck’s army group. Afterward, he commanded the Defenses of New Orleans before taking command of a division in Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’ army, which he led into action at the Siege of Port Hudson.  There, Sherman was severely wounded, leading to the amputation of his leg.  For his heroism, President Andrew Johnson nominated Sherman for brevet major general and the senate confirmed the nomination on March 12, 1866. 

    LOUIS HENRY PELOUZE enlisted as a Captain on May 14, 1861. During his service, he was promoted to Major, Lt. Colonel, Colonel and Brigadier General. 

    Old adhesive marks on the verso. Toning, more prevalent on verso. Very readable.

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