New York: 1847. Unbound. This postally used wrapper measures 9” x 6.5” unfolded. It is addressed to “Gen’l N. Towson, Paymaster General, U. S. Army, Washington, DC.” It bears a manuscript “Paid” notation as well as an arched “PAID” handstamp and integral circular 5-cent New York postmark. Docketing indicates that it was sent by “Wyman & Derby . . . In relation to the pay accounts of Lt. U. S. Grant for month of July 1845,” which were transferred to them. The wrapper is in nice shape; there is no enclosure. Very good. Item #009086
Ulysses S. Grant graduated from West Point in 1843 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the 4th Infantry Regiment located at Jefferson Barracks near St. Louis, Missouri. In July of 1845, the regiment was ordered to Texas as tensions over the border between the United States and Mexico increased. It arrived in Arransas Pass and established a camp near Corpus Christi in early August. Although isolated skirmishes occurred, peace was maintained until a small U. S. patrol in the disputed territory was ambushed, and four soldiers were killed. Just as significantly, Mexicans captured a U. S. officer, Colonel Truman Crosse, while he was on a solitary horseback ride. Cross was stripped naked, brutally lanced, and his body was left to rot in the sun. Although Grant was personally opposed to the war, he served with distinction and fought in every significant battle except Buena Vista. In February of 1847 following the Battle of Monterrey (when this claim was submitted), the 4th Infantry established a garrison at Camp Page at the mouth of the Rio Grande not for from current day Port Isabel. Wyman & Derby were New York City tailors who had apparently made uniforms or other clothing for Grant either after his graduation from West Point or in preparation for his deployment from Jefferson Barracks to Texas. The fact that they submitted an inquiry to the army’s paymaster general would indicate either they had been authorized by Grant to secure payment for his purchases or that they were, on their own, attempting to secure payment for a past due bill. Docketing on the envelope indicates their query was answered “unpaid” on 10 February 1847. An interesting piece of financial ephemera attesting to problems related to the wartime pay of a young frontier Army officer who would eventually lead the Union Army to victory over the Confederacy and became the 18th President of the United States. A cdv of a young General Grant from C. D. Fredricks & Company of New York accompanies the wrapper.