War Between the States

Autograph Letter Signed

(1813-84) Born in Meriden, Conn. He graduated #1 in the West Point class of 1837 and was commissioned into the Army Corps of Engineers. During the Mexican War he was wounded at Buena Vista. In 1861, he was appointed chief engineer of the Department of the Ohio, and took part in General McClellan's western Virginia campaign leading the advance guard in the pursuit of Confederate General Robert S. Garnett from Laurel Hill to Corrick's Ford, where Garnett was killed. This action earned Benham promotion to brigadier general of volunteers. In June 1862, he led an attack on Seccesionville, S.C., and from the spring of 1863, until the end of the war, commanded the engineer brigade of the Army of the Potomac, rendering excellent service resulting in his promotion to brevet major general in both the regular and volunteer services.

Autograph Letter Signed:

2 pages, 7 1/2 x 9 1/2, in ink.

Washington, D.C.

Sept. 18, 1860

My dear Judge,

I have to acknowledge your letter of the 12th inst. just received here- and to state that I had replied to your former letter to Judge Potter, that as it referred to an enclosed letter from Ithica about a lot there- while it describes the one near Owosso, as I feared by mistake, this last I told Judge Potter we would be willing to sell and at what would be a reasonable price. Our lot there in Section 20 is about 40 or 50 rods South of the Road and Mr. F. Shepard’s House. I have not my records here but have the impression it is one of the middle 80 acre tracts of the South half- it is good well timber land, and it was said to be worth $1,000- some three years since- at any rate I suppose it to be worth that now- and I would be willing to sell for that- if as has been suspected- no coal strata are supposed to be under it. You know best, however Judge- if this sum is about a fair price for the land, and can advise me, though I can expect I may be out there in four or five weeks. I am willing to sell it as I said at what would be reasonable, but as to the terms- as I do not wish to sell unless people have the money to pay. I should prefer 1/3 down and balance in one and two years, or if ¼ down- then interest at ten per cent- for the 1-2 and 3 years with a mortgage in either case so as to assure me the possession of the land without expense to me- if the buyer fails to pay. This is no more than just and is what I have proposed in all cases. Will you please inform me Judge if these propositions are satisfactory- or what the person offers subject to my consideration next month. I hope our Lyons suits are in a fair way. My best address is at New York.

Very truly yours,

H.W. Benham

Light age toning and wear. Very fine.


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