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Rare Content Civil War Letter to President Abraham Lincoln from Rear Admiral Samuel F. Du Pont Recommending a Chaplain Appointment with “the highest Christian virtues”

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SAMUEL FRANCIS DU PONT (1803-1865). U.S. Naval Officer who during the Civil War, Commanded the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron; led the successful Attack on Port Royal, S.C., and blockade; Promoted to Rear Admiral on July 16, 1862; blamed for the first failed attack on Charleston, SC in April, 1863, which resulted in his resignation; died June 1865 at age 61.

August 15, 1862-Dated Civil War Period, Manuscript Letter Signed, "S. F. Du Pont" as Rear Admiral Commanding The South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, Letter to President Abraham Lincoln, recommending an appointment as a Chaplain, Choice Extremely Fine. This Letter is written from Flag Ship Wabash, Port Royal Harbor, S.C., recommending to President Lincoln "an old and very dear friend of mine" for a Chaplaincy, and stating that. "his loyalty to the Union" is "above suspicion", despite some difficulties he had when with a Church in Washington. Beautifully handwritten on extremely clean light blue lined wove period paper, 2 tall folio pages, measuring 8.25" x 13.5", having the bold rich brown ink signature "S. F. Du Pont" at the conclusion on page 2, measuring a large 2.5” long. The unusual Letter to President Lincoln reads, in full:

"Flag Ship Wabash / Port Royal Harbor S.C. / August 15, 1862

Sir, ---

I have often been desired to address you by various persons and for different ends, but I have never before ventured to intrude upon your vast labors.

An old and very dear friend of mine, whom I have known intimately abroad, while engaged in what I deem the most heroic of occupations, carrying and preaching the Gospel to the Heathen, writes me he is an applicant for a chaplaincy.

Soon after his return from a foreign land, we met again, and I know his loyalty to the Union to be above suspicion. I mention this particularly, because his connection with a Church in Washington and with difficulties incident thereto, have started doubts on this point.

Without expressing an opinion whether my friend in question, the Rev. E. W. Syle acted wisely or not in these controversies, I can vouch not only for his loyalty, but for his eminent fitness for the station he asks, having especial attributes for filling it, viz, the highest Christian virtues with remarkable tact in dealing with his fellow men and winning the favor of all classes.

If your Excellency finds it in accordance with your own views to appoint the Rev. Mr. Syle, it will be a matter of gratification and heartfelt thanks to your Excellency's Most faithful Servant, -- (Signed) S. F. Du Pont / Comdg S. A. Blkg (Blockading) Squadron"

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Estimate Range: $1,500 - $2,000
Early American
1520 Commerce St., # 312 • Winchester, VA 22601
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