1860 Vice President & Confederate Civil War Gen. John Breckenridge Signed Letter
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1860 Vice President & Confederate Civil War Gen. John Breckenridge Signed Letter:
Rare and original, 1860 Signed Letter by United States Vice President and Confederate Civil War General John C. Breckenridge. This outstanding Hand Written Letter measures approx. 5” by 8” and is mounted on a page from an Autograph Album that measures approx. 6 1/2" by 8 1/4".
This original Letter is written in the hand of someone other that Breckenridge (likely the secretary of the Vice President) and is dated January 19th, 1860. The Letter reads " Dear Sir / In obedience to your request I send you herewith my autograph. / Very respect &c / (signed) John C. Breckinridge". The Letter was addressed to one A. K. Lamport Esquire of Troy, New York.
This rare and wonderful Signed Letter is in very good condition. The autograph is dark and bold. The Letter sheet exhibits some small spots of staining likely from the adhesive used to affix it to the Autograph page as can be seen from the scans below. There is also some edge wear at the bottom edge of the letter sheet.
A very rare and original, 1860 Letter Signed by United States Vice President and Confederate Civil War General John C. Breckenridge and a fantastic addition to any collection!!
PLEASE NOTE: The signature of John C Breckenridge is unconditionally guaranteed authentic, original and in the hand of the sitting Vice President. The Signature is backed by our “no questions asked” return policy and lifetime guarantee of authenticity. The Signature is unconditionally guaranteed to be deemed authentic by any third party authentication service and the Document will be accompanied by our own Letter of Authenticity with a statement of our unconditional return policy and guarantee of authenticity.
John Cabell Breckinridge (January 16, 1821 – May 17, 1875) was an American lawyer and politician. He served as a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from Kentucky and was the 14th Vice President of the United States, to date the youngest vice president in U.S. history, inaugurated at age 36. In the 1860 presidential election, he ran as one of two candidates of the fractured Democratic Party, representing Southern Democrats. Breckinridge came in third place in the popular vote, behind winner Abraham Lincoln, a Republican, and Stephen Douglas, a Northern Democrat, but finished second in the Electoral College vote.
Following the outbreak of the American Civil War, he served in the Confederate States Army as a general and commander of Confederate forces, including young Virginia Military Institute cadets, at the Battle of New Market. He also served as the fifth and final Confederate Secretary of War.
Breckinridge entered the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War as a brigadier general and soon became a major general, originally commanding the 1st Kentucky Brigade - nicknamed the Orphan Brigade, because its men felt orphaned by Kentucky's state government, which remained loyal to the Union. He fought in many battles in the Western Theater, beginning with the Battle of Shiloh, in which he was wounded. He served as an independent commander in the lower Mississippi Valley, securing Confederate control of the area by taking Port Hudson. Breckinridge developed an intense personal dislike of General Braxton Bragg, the commander of the Army of Tennessee. He considered him incompetent, a point of view shared by many other Confederate officers. Furthermore, Breckinridge felt that Bragg was unfair in his treatment of Kentucky troops in Confederate service, such as the Orphan Brigade.
Throughout the war, Breckinridge felt a strong personal need to see to the welfare of his fellow Kentuckians. For his part, Bragg despised Breckinridge and tried to undermine his career with accusations that he was a drunkard. At the Battle of Stones River in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, Bragg ordered Breckinridge's division to launch a near-suicidal attack on the Union lines on January 2, 1863. Breckinridge survived the attack, but his division suffered heavy casualties. Breckinridge was devastated by the disaster; he lost nearly one-third of his Kentucky troops, primarily the Orphan Brigade. As he rode among the survivors, he cried out repeatedly, "My poor Orphans! My poor Orphans."
Breckinridge continued to fight with Bragg's army, figuring prominently in the Confederate assaults on the second day, September 20, 1863, of the Battle of Chickamauga, and in the unsuccessful defense of Missionary Ridge in Chattanooga, November 25, 1863.
In early 1864, Breckinridge was brought to the Eastern Theater and put in charge of Confederate forces in the Shenandoah Valley. He defeated a superior Union force at the Battle of New Market, which included the famous charge of cadets from the Virginia Military Institute. Shortly thereafter, Breckinridge reinforced Robert E. Lee's Army of Northern Virginia and played an important role in the Battle of Cold Harbor, where his troops repulsed a powerful Union attack. In the summer, Breckinridge participated in Lieutenant General Jubal Early's Raid on Washington, moving north through the Shenandoah Valley and crossing into Maryland. He fought at the Battle of Monocacy in early July and was with Early when the Confederate force probed the defenses of Washington, D.C.. Since Lincoln was watching the fight from the ramparts of Fort Stevens, this was only time in American history when two former opponents in a presidential election faced one another across battle lines.
Following his service with Early's command, Breckinridge took command of Confederate forces in southwestern Virginia in September, where Confederate forces were in great disarray. He reorganized the department and led a raid into northEastern Tennessee. Following a victory outside of Saltville, Breckinridge discovered that some Confederate troops had killed scores of black Union soldiers of the 5th United States Colored Cavalry the morning after the battle, an incident that shocked and angered him. He attempted to have the commander responsible, Felix Huston Robertson, arrested and put on trial, but was unable to achieve this before the Confederacy disintegrated.
In early 1865, Breckinridge was made Confederate States Secretary of War, a post he would hold until the end of the war. Breckinridge saw that further resistance on the part of the Confederacy was useless and worked to lay the groundwork for an honorable surrender, even while President Jefferson Davis fiercely desired to continue the fight.
During the chaos of the fall of Richmond in early April 1865, Breckinridge saw to it that the Confederate archives, both government and military, were not destroyed but rather captured intact by the Union forces. By so doing, he ensured that a full account of the Confederate war effort would be preserved for history. Breckinridge went with Davis during the flight from Virginia as the Confederacy collapsed, while also assisting General Joseph E. Johnston in his surrender negotiations with William T. Sherman at Bennett Place. Breckinridge continued to try to persuade Davis that further resistance would only lead to greater loss of life, but he also felt honor bound to protect the President from harm. Eventually, the two became separated in the confusion of the journey.
Click Here to Read about the life and public service of Confederate Civil War General and Vice president of the United States John Breckinridge.
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