Twenty-two autograph letters, signed by Berry to Hamlin, plus two copies of letters of recommendation by Generals Heintzleman and Hooker, twenty four letters total, 56 pages, octavo and quarto, in very good clean and legible condition. These letters were in the possession of the Hamlin family until their recent sale at auction.
This rich and frank series of letters between Berry and his political ally Hannibal Hamlin1 (1809-1891), Lincoln's first Vice President, could have been written only by a high ranking officer with a keen understanding of military strategy, but more than that, a keen understanding of the political nature of advancement in the nineteenth century U. S. army. The letters are replete with discussions of other federal generals and officers and their machinations to obtain rank, and they reveal Berry's own efforts to garner political support for his own cause.
Hiram Gregory Berry was born in Rockland, Maine on August 27, 1824. He was the son of a veteran of the War of 1812 and grandson of a soldier in the Revolution. In his early years he was a carpenter, contractor, bank president, Democratic member of the state legislature, mayor of Rockland, and captain of the local militia company. On June 15, 1861, he became colonel of the 4th Maine Volunteer Infantry, a regiment organized at Rockland for three-year service, and a month later accompanied it to First Manassas. His entire military service was with the Army of the Potomac, during which time he was advanced from colonel to major… more >