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1847 - One-page Mexican-American War letter from a newly appointed ensign in the Missouri Volunteers as his unit… by John V. Masters to the Honorable C. Masters - 1847 - from Read 'Em Again Books & Paper (SKU: 009164)

1847 - One-page Mexican-American War letter from a newly appointed ensign in the Missouri Volunteers as his unit prepared to depart Camp Lucas in Missouri on the Great Platte River Road in route to establishing Fort Kearny for protection of the Oregon Trail.

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1847 - One-page Mexican-American War letter from a newly appointed ensign in the Missouri Volunteers as his unit prepared to depart Camp Lucas in Missouri on the Great Platte River Road in route to establishing Fort Kearny for protection of the Oregon Trail.

by John V. Masters to the Honorable C. Masters

  • Used
  • very good
Condition
Very good
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This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
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About This Item

"1st Battalion of St. Louis Volunteers Compy (D" prepares to depart for Santa Fe but is diverted to the Oregon Trail instead.

This one-page stampless folded letter measures 15.5" x 10" unfolded. It is dated "Camp Lucas May 30th 1847." The cover must have been delivered by hand, outside of the postal system, as it is unfranked and bears no postmarks. It is in nice shape. A transcript is included as is a copy of Masters's service summary showing he was assigned to Lt. Col. Powell's Missouri Volunteers.

In this letter, John Masters informs his father that he has been appointed an ensign in the "1st Battalion of St. Louis Volunteers, Comp (E)" and will be departing for Santa Fe the next morning. He asks his father to pay a $15 debt he incurred with a St. Louisan and informs him to address future letters to him in care of the battalion at Santa Fe, noting that mail for Santa Fe departs St. Louis on a monthly basis.

Masters's official military records show that he had enlisted as a private in Lt. Col I. E. Powell's Battalion of Missouri Mounted Volunteers (also known as Mounted Battalion Missouri Mexican War Volunteers and later as Powell's Battalion Oregon Volunteers) just two weeks before this letter was written.

When the unit was organized, it was originally intended to travel to New Mexico via the Santa Fe Trail to fight in the Mexican-American War. However, before it marched, Congress determined that a Regular Army force was needed to protect pioneers from attacks by Native Americans while traveling to the Northwest along the "Oregon Route." So, the battalion was diverted from its Santa Fe assignment and instead charged with protecting the Oregon Trail until a Regular Army unit could be deployed.

By May 30th, the battalion had assembled at Camp Lucas on James H. Lucas's pasture just west of the St. Louis city limits at what is now 12th Street (Tucker Boulevard) and Olive Street. Public records (United States Congressional serial set, Issue 2711) reflect that by December, the battalion had marched through Fort Leavenworth to a point on the Missouri River known as Table Creek (now Nebraska City) where it established winter quarters. It broke camp in April of 1848 and marched west along the Great Platte River Road where in June it established a fortification-which it christened Fort Childs-on the south bank of the Nebraska (Great Platte) River just below the head of Grand Island.

While there, Lt. Col. Powell concluded a peace treaty with the four confederated bands of Pawnee Indians: the Grand Pawnee, Loups Pawnee, Republican Pawnee, and Tappage Pawnee. The battalion remained at Fort Childs, which had been renamed Fort Kearny, until October of 1848 when its term of service expired, and it was relieved by a Regular Army unit after which it was mustered out of the service. Although the battalion never made it to New Mexico, Congress eventually approved Mexican-American War pensions for its surviving members in 1889.

While Mexican-American War mail from units deployed via the Santa Fe Trail to fight in and defend New Mexico are scarce, correspondence from the first military unit sent to protect the Oregon Trail and establish an Army post that eventually became Fort Kearny appears to be non-existent other than this letter.

At the time of listing, no correspondence from this unit is for sale in the trade, and no other correspondence from the unit has appeared at auction per the Rare Book Hub. OCLC shows no institutional holdings of correspondence from this unit.

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Details

Seller
Read 'Em Again Books & Paper US (US)
Seller’s Inventory #
009164
Title
1847 - One-page Mexican-American War letter from a newly appointed ensign in the Missouri Volunteers as his unit prepared to depart Camp Lucas in Missouri on the Great Platte River Road in route to establishing Fort Kearny for protection of the Oregon Trail.
Author
John V. Masters to the Honorable C. Masters
Book condition
second hand - Very good
Quantity available
1
Place of Publication
Camp Lucas (St. Louis), Missouri to Warren Court House, Pennsylvania
Date Published
1847
Bookseller catalogs
Military; History; Philately;

Terms of Sale

Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

Sales tax of 6% required for books shipped to addresses in Virginia. Standard domestic shipping is free, however additional fees may be required for heavy, oversized, or unusually-shaped items.

Returns accepted for any reason for a full refund (less shipping) if we receive the return within 14 days of shipment and items are received in the same condition as sent. Advance notice of any return would be appreciated.

About the Seller

Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

Seller rating:
This seller has earned a 5 of 5 Stars rating from Biblio customers.
Biblio.co.uk member since 2003
Virginia Beach, Virginia
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About Read 'Em Again Books & Paper

We always have an inventory of unique Americana on hand, that is, we keep a selection of personal narratives such as diaries, work journals, correspondence collections, photograph albums, scrapbooks, and similar items that shed light on some aspect of North American life, history, culture, or society.We also have a nice selection of unusual ephemera and postal history items in stock as well. Member: Antiquarian Booksellers Association of America, Ephemera Society, Manuscript Society, American Stamp Dealers Association, American Philatelic Society, U.S. Philatelic Classics Society, Military Postal History Society

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