War Between the States

Commander of Fort Delaware Prison

War Date Letter Signed

Scarce early war California recommendation letter sent to Secretary of War, Simon Cameron

(1818-69) Born in West Point, New York, he attended Norwich University, and graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1839. He taught infantry and artillery tactics at West Point, and fought in the Mexican War. When the Civil War broke out Burton was serving in San Francisco as major of the 3rd U.S. Artillery. In June 1862, he was appointed commander of Fort Delaware Prison. On July 23, 1863, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel, of the 4th U.S. Artillery, and on August 11, 1863, to colonel, of the 5th U.S. Artillery. From January to May of 1864, he served as inspector of the artillery, and in May and June of that year, he commanded the artillery of the 18th Corps. He was promoted to brevet brigadier general, for gallantry during the Petersburg campaign, on March 13, 1865. He is buried at the Post Cemetery at West Point.

War Date Letter Signed: 7 7/8 x 10, in ink.

San Francisco, Cal.
June 10th, 1861

To Hon. Simon Cameron
Secretary of War
Washington City, D.C.


The undersigned officers of the United States Army stationed upon the Pacific Coast do hereby respectfully recommend Jno. Alonzo C. Wakeman of San Francisco as a suitable and worthy gentleman to be commissioned in the "Federal Army" of the United States. We therefore have the honor to request that a favorable consideration of his application may be entertained as,

We have the honor Very Respectfully,
To remain your Obt. Servts.,

H.S. Burton
Capt. 3d Art.[illery]

Geo. P. Andrews
Bvt. Major U.S.A., Capt. 3rd Art.

J.H. Lendrum
Capt. 3d Art.

There are also two other signatures at lower left. The first one appears to be an officer by the last name of Allen, and the second one is a U.S. Marshal by the name of Wm. Rabi.

Very fine. Scarce early war California recommendation letter with 5 signatures that was sent to President Lincoln's first Secretary of War, Simon Cameron.

George P. Andrews, graduated in the West Point class of 1845, and was commissioned brevet 2nd lieutenant, 3rd U.S. Artillery, July 1, 1845. Promoted to 2nd lieutenant, February 16, 1847. He fought in the Mexican War and was cited for gallantry in the battles of Molino del Rey, and Chapultepec. Promoted to 1st lieutenant, September 8, 1847; captain, October 12, 1858. He served throughout the Civil War, and remained in the Regular U.S. Army until his retirement on March 22, 1885, ending his 40 year military career with rank of colonel.

John H. Lendrum, enlisted as a captain, on December 3, 1858, and was commissioned into the 3rd U.S. Artillery. His Civil War career ended very suddenly when he died of disease on October 26, 1861. He had previously fought in the Mexican War, and was commended for gallantry in the battles of Contreras and Churubusco.

Alonzo Wakeman, the man who is being recommended in this letter, enlisted as a 1st lieutenant, on September 12, 1861, at Camp Union, California, and was commissioned into the 5th California Infantry. He was mustered out of service on March 3, 1862.

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