ANS as president boldly signed “A. Lincoln,” one page both sides, 3.25 x 2, April 5, 1865. In full: “Will the Sec. of War please see & hear Gen. Barringer of N. C. & oblige him if you consistently can in seeing some friends.” In fine condition, with some light toning and soiling, and a couple of barely noticeable bends.
The day after Lincoln landed in Richmond with a small group of soldiers and an entourage of freed slaves, he scheduled an interview with Confederate General Barringer, the first general officer captured and taken to the Federal Headquarters at City Point. The two men conversed pleasantly and found common ground in their discovery that the general’s brother, Daniel, had shared a desk with Lincoln while they were both in Congress. Lincoln gave Barringer a note for the Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton, ‘…oblige him if you consistently can in seeing some friends.’ Barringer himself noted in his diary of the occasion, ‘Dined with Brig. Gen. Collis Called to see Mr. Lincoln at Gen. Grant’s H. Qtrs—Pleased with him. His looks, dress & manners have been misrepresented [by the] South. Gave me a card to Mr. Stanton.’
The president’s note proved anything but helpful in light of the assassination nine days after their meeting. Barringer was questioned many times and held until July, long after many of the other prisoners had been released. He finally returned home in August, leaving behind a distinguished war record, having risen from captain to general in only a few years. His regiment, engaged in over 150 actions, was considered one of the finest in the Confederate service. This boldly signed note, written so near the time of his death, is a wonderful exemplar of the compassion and respect President Lincoln was known to extend to all, even his former enemies. Pre-certified John Reznikoff/PSA/DNA and RR Auction COA.