New York City to West Point, New York: 1848. Envelope or Cover. This one-page stampless folded letter measures approximately 16” x 9.75”. It was sent by John Moorhead in New York City, to Captain Brewerson, an engineer stationed at West Point. The letter bears a manuscript annotation “Post Paid,” a red “Paid” handstamp, and an indistinct circular “5 cts” circular New York postmark also in red. There is a small circular hole, not affecting any text, created by the wax seal when the letter was opened. In nice shape.
In this letter, John Moorhead attempts to gather information for his son about attending West Point:
“My son a Volunteer in Colonel Burnett’s Regiment [the Second Regiment of New York Volunteers} who was in all the battles from Vera Cruz to Cera Gordo [Cerro Gordo], where he was slightly wounded, is anxious to get into the West Point Academy. Would you have the kindness to send me . . . the Rules and Regulations of that Institution. . ..
Pardon a little Vanity, Colonel Burnett and Count de Bongar (Gustave de Bongar) informed me that my son was “brave” and General Twiggs . . . saw an act of his bravery at Siera Gordo [and] invited him to his tent.. Very good. Item #009797
Apparently, the young Moorhead chose not to attend West Point (or perhaps did not finish) as no Mooreheads from this timeframe appear in the U.S. Military Academy’s roster of graduates.
However, Colonel Burnett did serve with distinction during the war. A former West Point graduate who became a civilian engineer, Burnett was commissioned as a Colonel to command the 1st New York Volunteer Infantry (later redesignated as the 2nd). He led the regiment during the Siege of Vera Crus, as well as at the Battles of Cerro Gordo, Contreras, and Churubusco, where he was severely wounded. He was brevetted Brigadier General for gallantry in 1848, and later awarded a gold medal by the City of New York for valorous service.
General Twiggs, too, was an important leader during the war. He commanded a regiment at the battles of Palo Alto and Resaca de la Palma, and after being promoted to brigadier general in 1846, Twiggs commanded a division at the Battle of Monterrey. He later led the 2nd Division of Regulars in all the battles form Veracruz through Mexico City where he was wounded during the assault on Chapultepec and subsequently served as the military governor of Veracruz. Twiggs was awarded a ceremonial sword by Congress in 1849..