War Between the States

War Date Autograph Letter Signed

(1832-1905) Enlisted at the age of 29, at New York City, on April 24, 1861, as a 1st lieutenant, and was commissioned into Co. I, 1st New York Infantry. He was promoted to captain, November 5, 1861, and discharged for promotion on September 13, 1862, and commissioned major, U.S. Volunteers Aide-de-Camp. He was discharged for promotion on May 11, 1864, and was commissioned lieutenant colonel & assistant adjutant general. Promoted to brevet brigadier general, March 13, 1865.

2 pages, 5 x 8, in ink, on imprinted letter sheet, written to Colonel E. Holmstedt.

Headquarters Military Division of West Mississippi, New Orleans, La., October 4th, 1864

My dear friend,

I take great pleasure in introducing to your personal acquaintance and favorable consideration Mr. James D. Rich, who has recently been appointed a 2d Lieutenant in your Regiment. Mr. Rich belongs to the 8th Vermont Volunteers, and has been my Chief Clerk since Division Headquarters were established in this city. I think he will make a good officer. He certainly performed his duties while with me in such a manner as to justify my unqualified good opinion. If you will kindly bear with him in his little short comings which are a natural consequence of his constant attention to his office duties to the exclusion of study, and aid him with your valuable advice, it will be esteemed as a personal favor shown to myself. Of one thing I am certain, that he will earnestly strive to please you and to become a useful and reliable officer.

Always dear Holmstedt,
Your attached friend,
C.T. Christensen
Lt. Colonel
Asst. Adj. General of the Mil. Div. W. Miss.

[to]Col. E. Holmstedt
74th U.S. Infy. (Col’d)
Comdg. Ship Island & c

Light age toning and wear, and some staining. Very neatly written.

The subject of this recommendation letter, James D. Rich, was a resident of Bethel, Vermont, when he enlisted as a private, on December 30, 1863, and was mustered into Co. C, 8th Vermont Infantry. He was discharged for promotion on October 20, 1864, and was commissioned 1st lieutenant, Co. K, 80th U.S. Colored Infantry.

The recipient of this letter was Colonel Ernest W. Holmstedt, commander of the 74th U.S. Colored Infantry.

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