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At the Institute’s core is the Gilder Lehrman Collection, one of the great archives in American history. More than 65,000 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.

Comstock, C. B. (Cyrus Ballou) (1831-1910) to Edward Ortho Cresap Ord

Gilder Lehrman Collection #: GLC01951 Author/Creator: Comstock, C. B. (Cyrus Ballou) (1831-1910) Place Written: Washington, D. C. Type: Autograph letter signed Date: 21 November 1866 Pagination: 1

Summary of Content: Serving as senior aide-de-camp to General-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant, Comstock authorizes General Ord to move soldiers from Little Rock to Fort Smith, Arkansas. Referring to reconstruction policies, informs Ord that "It is impossible for the General-in-Chief to give instructions which shall guide you in all extraordinary and exceptional cases; whenever such cases come within the provisions of the Civil Rights Bill, Freedmans Bureau Bill, or other laws, these laws must be your guide." Instructs Ord to return property to pre-war ownership, and to suppress all robbers and bushwhackers in his department. States that Ord's judgment will be supported by Grant as General-in-Chief.

People: Comstock, Cyrus Ballou, 1831-1910.
Ord, Edward Otho Cresap, 1818-1883.
Grant, Ulysses S., 1852-1929.

Historical Era: Civil War and Reconstruction, 1861-1877

Keywords/Subjects: Civil War, Military History, Union Forces, Union General, Reconstruction, Law, Freemen, African American History, Criminals and Outlaws, Military Law

Sub Era: Reconstruction