William O. Wyckoff. Autograph letter signed "W.O. Wyekoff"), 17 pages on lined paper (9 1/2 x 7 1/2 in.; 240 x 190 mm), Camp of 32nd Regiment NY Volunteers, White Oak Church, VA, 20 February 1863, to Ezra Cornell; a few small rust stains and smudges. Accompanied by a typed transcript.
Henry Halleck had an uncomfortable relationship with Grant. Halleck, by nature a cautious general, also judged that Grant's reputation for alcoholism in the prewar period made him unreliable. However, under pressure from President Lincoln to take offensive action, Halleck reconsidered and Grant conducted operations with naval and land forces against Forts Henry and Donelson in February 1862, capturing both, along with 14,000 Confederates. In the present letter, Halleck pressures Grant to communcate with McClellan: "You are mistaken; there is enemy between me & you. There is no letter of yours stating the number and position of your command since the capture of Fort Donelson. Genl McClellan has asked for it repeatedly, in reference to ulterior movements, but I could not give him the information. He is out of all patience waiting for it. Answer by telegraph, in general terms."
Wyckoff, who was later to make his fortune selling Remington typewriters, writes a long newsy letter to the businessman Ezra Cornell (1807-1874), providing details about the exploits of his regiment at the Battle of Crampton Gap (14 September 1862) trying to show that the Army of the Potomac was not a "do nothing" army, giving his impressions of Generals McClellan, Burnside, and their strategy. Other correspondence from Wyckoff to Cornell is kept in the Cornell University Library.
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