of the Soldiers' of the Northwest
Written on Third Annual Encampment, Soldiers' Reunion Northwest imprinted letter sheet
8 1/4 x 10 3/4, imprinted letter sheet, filled out in bold pencil hand on the reverse by General Hiram Hilliard.
Headquarters, Third Annual Encampment, Soldiers' Reunion Northwest. President's Office, 103 State Street, Chicago, Ill., 1880. Includes vignette in red of G.A.R. membership badge, and list of officers printed in blue.
The letter written by General Hilliard is what I believe to be a mock battle communication written to General S.B. Sherer. It was not uncommon for the veteran Civil War soldiers who attended these reunions to put on a mock battle for the education and enjoyment of the people attending the encampment.
The letter reads as follows:
Fort Lee, near Galesburg, Ill.
August 6, 1880
General S.B. Sherer
Comdg. Federal forces
Having defended the position I hold with a persistence unparalled and having exhausted my supplies and finding that you are about to organize an assault upon my works, in order to spare the effusion of blood consequent upon such an assault which will prove equally destructive to both sides, I have been constrained to enquire as to the terms you are prepared to make should I see proper to surrender.
I Am Sir Very Respectfully,
Your Obt. Servant,
Maj. Gen. Comdg.
It is my opinion that the lines drawn on the imprinted side of the sheet represent Hilliard's position, or works as he describes them, at the top, and Sherer's troops, or battle line, at the bottom.
Light age toning and wear. Very fine and desirable imprinted letter sheet with some very neat content.
Samuel B. Sherer, the recipient of this communication, was a resident of Aurora, Illinois, when he enlisted on August 20, 1861, as a 1st Lieutenant, and was commissioned into Jenks Company, Illinois Independent Cavalry. He was promoted to Captain, July 9, 1862. On December 15, 1862, he was transferred into Co. I, 15th Illinois Cavalry; promoted to Major, July 29, 1863, and mustered out of service on August 25, 1864. After the war he was prominent in G.A.R. affairs, and was a General in the Illlinois National Guard.
Hiram Hilliard, who sent this communication, was a resident of Chicago, and fought as major of the 17th Illinois Cavalry during the Civil War. He ended the war with rank of lieutenant colonel.