Our Collection

At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 70,000 items cover five hundred years of American history, from Columbus’s 1493 letter describing the New World to soldiers’ letters from World War II and Vietnam. Explore primary sources, visit exhibitions in person or online, or bring your class on a field trip.

Lee, John F. (1813-1884) to Henry Jackson Hunt

High-resolution images are available to schools and libraries via subscription to American History, 1493-1943. Check to see if your school or library already has a subscription. Or click here for more information. You may also order a pdf of the image from us here.

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC02382.096 Author/Creator: Lee, John F. (1813-1884) Place Written: Washington, D.C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 11 April 1878 Pagination: 2 p. ; 20.4 x 25.4 cm.

Relates that he is leaving Washington to travel to St. Louis, Missouri. Notes that Senator Ambrose Burnside (a Civil War General) is doing well but may need looking after. Mentions Representative Walsh (possibly William Walsh, a Representative from Maryland 1877-1878), and Hunt's friend O'Connor. Declares "The army is not in that state of patriotic satisfaction or submission the army of a republic ought to be. It rebels at public economy; and even threatens an indian war. I have advised, in case they get it up, to reduce their pay one half more..." Suggests the discharge of Sheridan (possibly Philip Henry Sheridan). Notes that Tecumseh (possibly William Tecumseh Sherman), recently denounced the usefulness of the posts of judge advocate, provost marshal, and sutler. Writes that if O'Connor is sent to another election, "send your soldiers as citizens to hold the polls & direct the negroes to vote properly."

Hunt had served as Chief of Artillery for the Army of the Potomac. After the Civil War, he occupied various military posts. In the late 1870s, Hunt implemented reconstruction policies as the military commander at Charleston, South Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia.

Order a CopyCitation Guidelines for Online Resources