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Lot 162

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Joseph Johnston ALS Re: "Bleeding Kansas"-Era Ordinance Stores at Fort Leavenworth

1p autograph letter signed with rank by future Confederate General Joseph Johnston (1807-1891) as "J.E. Johnston / Lt Col: 1st cav:" at center right. Written at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas Territory on October 6, 1855. On blue-ruled blue paper. Docketed verso. Expected light paper folds. An isolated light stain in the left margin recto, and slight darkening along docket folds verso. Else near fine. 7.75" x 9.75."

Lieutenant Colonel Joseph E. Johnston addressed this memo to Colonel Henry Knox Craig (1791-1869), Chief of Ordinance. In full:

"Fort Leavenworth
October 6th 1855


I have the honor to transmit herewith a part return of ordinance + ordinance stores for the last quarter.

I send no abstract of ord: + ord: stores expended, because the expenditures were made while Col. Sumner (now in the field) was commanding the post + I am without the necessary data -

your obt sevt

J.E. Johnston
Lt Col: 1st cav:

Col: Craig
Ord: Dept."

Johnston had been appointed Lieutenant Colonel of the 1st U.S. Cavalry at Fort Leavenworth seven months earlier, on March 1, 1855, by then Secretary of War (and Johnston's future boss and President of the Confederate States of America) Jefferson Davis. Johnston refers to his predecessor, Colonel Edwin V. Sumner (1797-1863), as "Col. Sumner" in the letter.

During the nearly two years that Johnston served in Kansas, military matters mostly revolved around "Bleeding Kansas"-era civil unrest, and controlling the Sioux Indians in Wyoming Territory.

Johnston resigned his commission in the U.S. Army when Virginia seceded in 1861. A high-ranking Confederate military commander, Johnston proved a rather ineffective leader for which he clashed frequently with President Jefferson Davis.

This item comes with a Certificate from John Reznikoff, a premier authenticator for both major 3rd party authentication services, PSA and JSA (James Spence Authentications), as well as numerous auction houses.


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