Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr. to William Henry Seward, October 19, 1864

  • Posted on: 27 July 2016
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Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr. to William Henry Seward, October 19, 1864
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transcriber

Transcriber:spp:srr

student editor

Transcriber:spp:keh

Distributor:Seward Family Digital Archive

Institution:University of Rochester

Repository:Rare Books and Special Collections

Date:1864-10-19

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Letter from William Henry Seward, Jr. to William Henry Seward, October 19, 1864

action: sent

sender: William Seward
Birth: 1839-06-18  Death: 1920-04-29

location: Martinsburg, VA

receiver: William Seward
Birth: 1801-05-16  Death: 1872-10-10

location: Washington D.C., US

transcription: srr 

revision: obm 2016-06-30

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Page 1

Headquarters U.S. Forces,
Martinsburg, Va.
Oct 19 1864
My dear Father
I hope the recent attack
on the RR between Harpers Ferry ^& this place^ will
not deter you from making me a visit
as I consider the trains that run through
in the day time entirely safe
I regret much to see an article in the Washington
Herald blaming the War Dept for this affair
& I trust that I shall not be considered as
giving the least countenance to such a statement.
The facts are just these, soon after my arrival
here I reported to Genl Stevenson
Birth: 1821-06-08 Death: 1897-01-22
that I did not
consider the force here sufficiently large to fully
protect us from the guerrilla bands which swarm
in this part of the Country & that there was a
particular necessity for good Cavalry In subsequent
conversations with him I learned that he was entirely
of the same opinion but that it was not possible
to obtain the necessary troops at present & under
the circumstance we must do the best we could,
with this in view I have made every effort in
Page 2

my power & have been aided by Genl S. in
the matter for the protection of the Port &
vicinity, a few days since I received written
instructions as to my duties here & what was
expected of me I immediately reported to
the Adjt Genl
Birth: 1843-09-23 Death: 1920-02-17
what troops I had & how
they were employed and stating that cavalry
add much to the security I also made an off
statement to Gen Stevenson to the same effect & an
application for a cavalry regt forwarding a copy
of the same to Genl Sheridan
Birth: 1831-03-06 Death: 1888-08-05
, Gen Stevenson
whom I saw next day told me that it was
impossible to get the troops at present & I felt
entirely assured that the Dept would have sent
them if it could have been done, under these
circumstances I felt very sorry that an article [ of ]
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Supplied

Reason: 

the kind referred to should have been written from
a post in my command & particularly as it
had the appearance of my having made the complaint
Genl Sheridan who was here last night appeared
& expressed him satisfied with my conduct of
affairs here, and pronounced to send the troops
required as early as possible. The time of one
Page 3

Headquarters U.S. Forces,
Martinsburg, Va
1864.
[ o ]
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Reason: 
f my largest regiments expires tomorrow
& two more within the month so that
I am looking with some anxiety for
their early arrival, I think that Genl
Sheridan is fully aware of the wants of
the command & will provided for it as
early as possible, I am very glad that
he came here on that accounts
If you think it best ^I^ by may mentio[ on ]
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Reason: 

this matter to the Secy of War
Birth: 1814-12-19 Death: 1869-12-24
for I should
[ be ]
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Reason: hole
very sorry to have him think that
[ I wa ]
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Reason: hole
s in anyway party to the complaint
[ I ]
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Reason: hole
will use every effort with what I have
to protect my post, ^with what I have^ & shall not complain
if it is not thought best to strengthen it, I am
sure that Genl Stevenson will not allow the
int interest of any part of his command to
suffer if he can avoid it.
I should like if possible to go home some
time in the early part or middle of next month
on Jennys
Birth: 1839-11-18 Death: 1913-11-09
account but not unless you think
Page 4

it advisable for me to do so. If should I
go I would also like much to return to
this command again. I will write you
however in a few days when the time comes
I hope that you & Fred
Birth: 1830-07-08 Death: 1915-04-25
have not given
up the idea of coming up to see me
I consider the day trains entirely safe & we
send a guard on the night trains
Your affectionate son
W H Seward Jr
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Editorial Note

Attached is a newspaper clipping