Jul
23

Dear General Totten…

naraii Dear General Totten...While working on what would become “Images of America – Fort Myer”, I spent much of my time digging and sorting among the wonderful resources of the US National Archives in College Park, Maryland.

 The Archives are a vast storehouse of the United States historical items, some more important than others – all in all the location at College Park is only one in their network of “archives”    If you have the chance to visit the Maryland location and do any research, you’ll soon find that you can spend much of your life there pouring over the collections.

“Images of America – Fort Myer” contains over 200 historical photographs.  Many were found among the Signal Corps collection of still photographs stored at the Archives.  When one is presented a box of 50 to 100 photographs, where the selection may have only included one photo in the box,  it’s a wonder just what else is nestled within ….  That curiousity resulted in some outstanding finds of images that have never been published before.   It also resulted in finding for the first time ever a note written to General Joseph Totten by President Abraham Lincoln.  It was written about the older of the Whipple sons, William Whipple, who by virtue of the note was appointed to West Point.  Extending the branch of the Lincoln Legacy Tree that connected what would become first Fort Whipple and ultimately Fort Myer.

The note (which wasn’t supposed to be where it was found) was sandwiched between two photographs protected by a sheet protector.  It now appears for the first time in print on page 015 of the book.   The existence of the note combined with a second note also written about the Whipple sons, this one about the younger one, requested that he be appointed to the Naval Academy.

The contents of the first note appears below:

Executive Mansion

Washtington, DC

‘May 13, 1863 - 

May 14, 1863,

My dear Sir,

I wish to appoint William Whipple, son of the General  who fell in the recent battle on the Rappahonack, to West Point, next Spring, and I wish to file this as a remembrance for the subject.

Your truly,

A. Lincoln

 

Has anyone come across the second note?

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