Autograph Letter (unsigned).

PAINE, William Henry (1827-90).

From Main Street Fine Books & Mss, ABAA (Galena, IL, U.S.A.)

AbeBooks Seller Since March 11, 1998

Quantity Available: 1

About this Item

According to Earl B. McElfresh, author of "Maps and Mapmakers of the Civil War," Paine was "One of the finest topographical engineers in the Union Army of the Potomac. A hardworking, unassuming staff officer. When Meade made his perilous night ride from Taneytown, Maryland, to the Gettysburg battlefield on July 1, 1863, it was Paine who led the way." Superb content AL (unsigned), 4pp, 5" X 8", Head Quarters Army of the Potomac, 1864 March 10. Addressed to "Friend Powell" (George May Powell, 1835-1905, Treasury Department statistician, entrepreneur, inventor, evangelist, philanthropist, social reformer, cartographer, etc.). Near fine. Delightful letter acknowledging receipt of photographs, commenting: "They arrived during my absence on a cavalry raid. .I came very near going with Col. Dahlgren. I had made every arrangement to go, but received an order to guide the 6th Corps to Madison Court House so that I was absent when he started. Gen Custer coming through Madison Court House on his raid I joined him and as it now proves was on the most successful branch of the movements. Col. Dahlgren was one of my most intimate friends here. He made out the plan relating to the time and distances in my tent. When he mentioned Sunday as the day for starting I mentioned my views upon that point. He said he agreed with me in relation to the duty of keeping the Sabbath but said that time must not be lost and Sunday was mentioned as the earliest time they could leave He said in the same connection that he never undertook any such enterprise without asking God's blessing." Ulric Dahlgren (1842-64), son of Admiral John Dahlgren, was the youngest colonel in the U.S. Army and was killed in a March 2nd raid to liberate Union troops from Libby Prison and Belle Isle near Richmond -- bringing about the controversial "Dahlgren Affair," for on his body were discovered documents ordering him to assassinate Jefferson Davis and his cabinet. Discussing the presidential campaign, Paine notes: "I do hope there will be no split in the Presidential campaign. I do not believe the Republicans can bring a stronger candidate than Prest Lincoln. I think Fremont would not stand the ghost of a chance for an election though I think he would make a good president." Paine also expresses strong views about "the dancing question" -- "Abstractly, dancing is not improper, and if one is sure that no encouragement is given to those forms, times and places of dancing that are objectionable, by indulging in that which is unobjectionable in itself I can see no possibility of harm, and nothing improper in it. There are many paths from virtue to vice besides going right over a precipice. One of them is the dancing hall which inclines down words at quite an angle and many have in the bewilderment of the dance found themselves at the lower end before they were aware of it. The dividing line between morality and immorality, between virtue and vice is like the equatorial or other lines on the earths surface, not seen marked across our path but it requires careful observation to know just when we cross. It is best to keep as clear as possible of this boundary line." And there ends, unsigned, this fascinating letter, rare and unusual. Bookseller Inventory # 38472

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Autograph Letter (unsigned).

Store Description

Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts has been buying and selling quality books, autographs and ephemera since 1991. We specialize in general antiquarian, first editions, signed books and autographs and documents. We are members of the Antiquarian Booksellers' Association of America (ABAA), Midwest Antiquarian Booksellers Association (MWABA), Universal Autograph Collectors Club (UACC) and The Manuscript Society.

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Main Street Fine Books & Manuscripts accepts VISA, MasterCard and Discover cards. Checks are welcome. Institutions will be accommodated as their procedures require. Shipping is additional and will be quoted at the time an order is placed. Illinois residents will be charged 8.25% sales tax. Every effort has been made to describe each book and any defects accurately. If an item proves unsatisfactory for any reason, it may be returned pursuant to ABEBooks' policy. We would appreciate a courtesy cal...

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