3-page autograph letter signed, from J. W. Eckles of Houston, Texas to Major J. R. Lofland concerning a suit against him and the troops at Galveston. Eckles, ohn, esley.

3-page autograph letter signed, from J. W. Eckles of Houston, Texas to Major J. R. Lofland concerning a suit against him and the troops at Galveston.

Houston, TX: 1866. 4to, 3 pages on integral leaves; approx. 9.75" x 7.75", legibly written with full typescript transcription provided, some staining without affecting legibility, minor insect damage on edges, very good. Includes stamped cover with a Houston postmark. An interesting letter from the early Reconstruction period in the Southwest. J. W. Eckles (John Wesley Eckles: 1839-1891) was born in Delaware. At the time of this letter he was a 1st Lieutenant serving in Houston a few months after a proclamation of peace with Texas was issued by President Andrew Johnson, in August of 1866. He appears to have remained in Texas thereafter as a rancher, until he was shot in a neighborhood dispute. Eckles writes to Major Lofland: "I am truly glad to know you came out number one in your late collision with Col. Mason. Although I never felt any doubt about the matter. I would think the Snub he got from Gen'l Sheridan with charges returned would put him out of the nature of preferring charges against anybody else, particularly the Pay Dept. He told Maj. Lathrop that he never forwarded the charges, I showed Lathrop a copy of Gen'l S's letter returning them, you ought to have seen him laugh." (General Philip Sheridan was appointed to supervise federal Reconstruction (1865-77) efforts in Louisiana and Texas; he rapidly earned a reputation as a harsh leader.) The reference to "Col. Mason" probably refers to Bvt. Lieut. Col. Julius Wilmot Mason (1835-1882) from Pennsylvania. He participated in the 1863 Battle of Brandy Station, where he earned a brevet to major, for gallant and meritorious services. Mason served with Grant until August 12, 1866 and commanded General Grant's escort until he was inaugurated as President in January of 1868. Mason then served in the same position for Gen. William T. Sherman, until March 31, 1870, when he was transferred to frontier service. We do not know exactly what the "charges" or the "late collision" with Major Lofland were that Col. Mason brought, since they were returned by Sheridan, but since they concerned the pay department, they might have been related to issues involving the dispensing of soldier pay. Major James Rush Lofland was the recipient of this letter in New Orleans, where he was engaged (until 1867) in paying off the troops of Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Lofland (1823-1894) was a Delaware College graduate and a lawyer. Eckles also refers to "about 1000 troops here arrived in Galveston during the last week. Gen'l Heinzleman has made his HdQtrs at Galveston & assumed command of this district ... My opinion of the majority of those fellows at Galveston is...that it requires nine of them to make a man. They are all very honorable gentlemen & the d-l for taking up each others' quarrels." He recounts an attempt of "two youngsters" to waylay Lofland at a wharf over a perceived slight that was thwarted by cowardice. Item #53723

Price: $750.00

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