Autograph Letter Signed Twice
(1839-1906) Son of President Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, William P. Fessenden, and younger brother of Union General James D. Fessenden. He was born in Portland, Maine, graduated from Bowdoin College in 1858, studied law at Harvard and was appointed to the bar. Appointed captain of the newly authorized 19th U.S. Infantry at the start of the Civil War by Secretary of War Simon Cameron. He was wounded in the battle of Shiloh. After his recovery he was commissioned colonel of the 25th Maine Infantry, and later colonel of the 30th Maine Infantry. He took part in General N.P. Banks' Red River campaign serving in brigade command. Fessenden directed a charge at Monett's Ferry which saved the retreating Union army. He was severely wounded on April 23, 1864, at Cane River Crossing, La., which resulted in the amputation of his right leg. He was promoted to brigadier general on May 10, 1864. He served as a member of the military commission which tried and condemned Henry Wirz, the Confederate Commandant at Andersonville Prison, and was assistant commander of the bureau of refugees, freedmen and abandoned lands.
Autograph Letter Signed Twice: 7 3/4 x 9 3/4, in ink.
Portland, Maine, August 2d, 1870
I, Francis Fessenden, herewith certify that in the month of April A.D. 1862, I being then in command of Company "E" 1st battalion, 19th U.S. Infantry, joined the said battalion at Columbia, Tennessee; that I accompanied the said battalion on the march from Duck River, Tennessee, to Savannah on the Tennessee River and was with the said battalion in the second day’s battle at Pittsburg Landing; that I found Henry C. Parry, acting in the capacity of Surgeon in said battalion; that I saw him on the said march; that he appeared at that time to be in good health and was attending to his duties; that I never heard that he was not in good health at that time; that the weather was very stormy & cold for some days after the battle and that many officers and men around me were suffering from diarrhea and kindred diseases.
Brig. Gen. U.S. Army
Light age toning and wear. The letter is signed by Fessenden in the opening line of the letter, as well as at the end where he includes his rank.
There is a docket on the reverse identifying that this is a letter from Brig. Genl. Francis Fessenden regarding the health of Dr. Parry in 1862. It has also been stamped in red by the War Dept.