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General Henry Burbeck letter d/l Washington 1806 to Captain William Yates OF For Sale
General Henry Burbeck letter d/l Washington 1806 to Captain William Yates OF:
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United States Army Brigadier General Henry Burbeck letter datelined Washington 21 March 1806, with him writing as a Colonel to transmit a commission to Captain Gates, to be a Captain in a Regiment of Artillery.
Addressed to "Captain William Yates."
I have found a number of references on the Internet to "1 February 1806 as Captain William Yates' Company, Regiment of Artillerists" including references to current Air Artillery Units that trace their lineage to him, but I have found no history of him.
Hand carried. Approximately 12" x 7.5" folded in half, with a letter on one half as follows:
"City of Washington, 21 March 1806, Sir: Enclosed is your commission as a Captain in the Regiment of Artillery -- You will therefore make your arrangements to join your Company on the Mississippi on the shortest notice -- You will please to acknowledge the receipt of this. I am with Respect, H. Burbeck. I have received your clothing return &c. Captain Yates"
I believe this letter is completely written by General Burbeck and not by a clerk and merely signed by him (General Burbeck).
Upon receipt, endorsed by Captain Yates "Col. Burbeck, 21st March 1806"
Strengthened at the fold with stamp hinges, not visible from the letter portion. Toning on the address portion from being folded.
General Burbeck has a very extensive Wikipedia Page:
Henry Burbeck was born in Boston, Massachusetts on June 10, 1754. Prior to the Revolutionary War, he worked as a copper-smith's forge with Paul Revere. He married his first wife, Abigail Webb, on April 12, 1775 in Boston.
At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Henry Burbeck joined his father, William Burbeck, who gave up his British military career, as second in command of Old Castle William, located in Boston Harbor, to join the revolution after hostilities broke in the Massachusetts countryside despite a price being placed on his head.
Burbeck joined his father just in time for the Battle of Bunker Hill and was handed what he later would claim was the first officer's commission of the Revolutionary War from none other than Dr. Joseph Warren who sent Paul Revere and William Dawes out into the night on their historic April 18, 1775 rides to sound the alarm that the British were approaching Lexington and Concord. Gen. Warren heroically died on the front lines in the Battle of Bunker Hill.
After the winter of 1777-78, Burbeck marched with Gen. Washington from Valley Forge to New Jersey and fought at the Battle of Monmouth. It may have been one of Burbeck's cannons that were "manned" by the legendary Molly Pitcher at Monmouth.
Burbeck was among the first in Gen. Washington's army to descend on New York City after it was evacuated by the British in 1783.
Burbeck's first wife died in Bath, Main in June 1790. Burbeck met his second wife, Charlotte Rudd, at the funeral of her first husband, Capt. Henry Caldwell, of the United States Marines, who died on March 12, 1812 in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Capt. Caldwell was notable for being on the U.S.S. President during the Little Belt Affair. Burbeck was twenty-nine years older than Lucy Rudd when they were married on Dec. 16, 1813 in New London, Connecticut.
Lucy's father, Daniel Rudd, shared the same exact date of birth, July 10, 1754, as her second-husband, Gen. Burbeck who was twenty-nine years older than his bride when they were married on Dec. 16, 1813 in New London, Connecticut.
By the time hostilities broke resulting in the War of 1812, Henry Burbeck's sterling Revolutionary War record and his service following the war, turned to gold as he established himself as one of the most trusted and active officers in the United States Army, reporting directly to Gen. Henry Knox; the namesake of Fort Knox.
A powder keg of dissent, which would go down in history as Shay's Rebellion, exploded in Springfield, Massachusetts in 1787 as a group of farmers led by Daniel Shays revolted due to oppressive taxation. Gen. Knox turned to Burbeck, then a colonel, and ordered him to Springfield to protect the federal arsenal located in that city.
Gen. Knox ordered Burbeck, to Georgia, on Aug. 29, 1789, to serve as a guard during the negotiations for a treaty with the Creek Indians. The treaty attempt with the Creek's failed and the Creek's would ultimately cast their support in favor of the British in the War of 1812. Col. Andrew Jackson defeated the Creek's at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. Having lost any leverage they had prior to their defeat, the Creek's would sign a treaty in 1814 that handed the United States 23 million acres of Creek lands encompassing substantial portions of Alabama and Georgia.
Burbeck went back to Georgia in 1790 and built a fort on the St. Mary's River. While he was in Georgia making plans to build Fort St. Tammany, his first wife, Abigail Webb died in Bath, Massachusetts in June.
Burbeck was appointed president of the Court of Inquiry ordered by the President of the United States that, in the winter of 1808, convened at a tavern to investigate Gen. James Wilkinson who was accused of being a pensioner of the government of Spain while holding a commission under the government of the United States. Sitting before Burbeck, was a defiant Wilkinson, who unsuccessfully took exception to the presence of several members of the Court, including Burbeck.
During the inquiry, Gen. Wilkinson was forced to give up his sword to the Court. It was a sad and humbling experience for Gen. Wilkinson who by then held the distinction of being one of the two men sharing the honor of taking possession of the Louisiana Purchase on behalf of the United States in 1803. He was appointed governor of the Louisiana territory by President Thomas Jefferson in 1805.
Gen. Wilkinson's other historical legacies include corruption, self-dealing and lack of military success, but he had a knack for escaping more than one court martial. He was acquitted by Burbeck's Court of Inquiry because it was held that he received money from the Spanish government for the sale of tobacco, not as a pension.
Gen. Burbeck was appointed to the tribunal assembled at Philadelphia to court marshal the former governor of the Michigan Territory, Gen. William Hull, after he surrendered Fort Detroit in 1812. The court martial of Gen. Hull was a complicated affair. His defense was that Gen. Henry Dearborn's failure to act caused his surrender. The first tribunal, comprised of military officers, including Burbeck, was dissolved because, as it has been suggested, the tribunal's experienced military officers might not have been so willing to make a scapegoat of Gen. Hull.
A second tribunal was convened, but Burbeck was not appointed as a member. The members of the second tribunal were largely civilians lacking any military experience. In one of the greatest conflicts of interest in history, the second tribunal was presided over by Gen. Dearborn himself. Gen. Hull was sentenced to be shot, but President James Madison ultimately gave him a reprieve.
In July 1813, Burbeck, who was then in command of the military at New London, received intelligence from the Governor of Virginia that some British naval deserters reported that British Admiral George Cockburn secretly set sail from the Chesapeake to New London with a seventy-four gun ship and some transports. New London, which had risen up from the ashes of its complete destruction by the British in 1781, was thrust into a panic at the prospect of having their city burned to the ground a second time. Burbeck responded by summoning the area militia.
Then, an unexpected letter from Gen. John Armstrong, Jr., the Secretary of War, was delivered. The letter ordered the dismissal of the entire militia which was then based at Fort Griswold in Groton. The letter was premised on the fact that the troops were assembled to protect the U.S. squadron at New London and if their services were not necessary they should be dismissed. Gen. Armstrong did not know when he penned the letter that Admiral Cockburn might be paying New London a visit.
In response to Gen. Armstrong's orders, the militia was assembled on Fort Griswold's parade and Gen. Isham told them that he was just following orders then he thanked them for their service and to everyone's astonishment told them all to go home. With a British seventy-four gun ship en route to the city, Fort Griswold was completely devoid of its soldiers and New London was vulnerable to attack. The confidence of the local populace was so shaken by this turn of events that there was a mass exodus out of New London.
A reporter for the Boston Gazette wrote, "Our readers must draw their own inferences as the conduct of the general government is inexplicable." Burbeck sent letters to Governor Smith appealing for state troops and the panicked populous sent a petition to Governor Smith for protection. Governor Smith obliged and sent two companies. The anticipated threat to New London was never realized. Admiral Cockburn had a much bigger prize in mind. The following year, in August 1814, he captured and burned Washington D.C. and as a result Gen. Armstrong resigned as Secretary of War.
By the end of the War of 1812, Gen. Burbeck and Lucy were finally able to comfortably settle into their home on Main St. in New London and have a family. Gen. Burbeck was 61 years old when his first child, Susan Henrietta, was born on Sept. 23, 1815 in New London. She married Lieut. Epaphras Kibby, in New London, on June 9, 1835. He died on Sept. 15, 1839 in Mobile, Alabama where he worked at the Mobile Register as a junior editor. Susan Henrietta died several months later on Feb. 2, 1840. They had a son, Henry Brewer Kibby who was educated at the Bartlett School in New London. He was an accountant and went to New York City and started his own business. He died on Jan. 4, 1904 in Harlem, New York.
Burbeck's second daughter, Charlotte Augusta, was born in New London on Mar. 8, 1818. She was active at St. James Church in that city. The Lucretia Shaw chapter of the Daughter's of the American Revolution made her an honorary member. She died on July 13, 1897 in New London.
Lucy gave birth to a son, Henry William Burbeck, on May 31, 1819 in New London. Gen. Burbeck expected that his soon would follow in his footsteps and have a career in the United States Army. His expectations were cut short when Henry William was sent to Mexico on a revenue cutter delivering kegs of silver coins. During that voyage, William Henry attempted to test his strength by lifting a keg of the silver coins, but it fell on his foot and severed his toe. There was no doctor on board and the captain refused to enter a port to obtain medical help. By the time the ship docked in New York and a doctor was summoned, it was too late. William Henry died on Feb. 19, 1840. Gen. Burbeck was so disappointed that he would not have his son's name spoken in his home.
Gen. Burbeck's third daughter, Mary Elizabeth, was born on Mar. 7, 1821 in New London. She married Chandler Smith on Apr. 22, 1851 in New London.
A second son, William Henry, was born on Oct. 2, 1823 in New London. He ended up going to New York and returned to New London in 1860. He died on Feb. 28, 1905 in New London. At his death, he was the last of Burbeck's six children.
John Cathcart was Burbeck's third son. Gen. Burbeck was 70 years old when John Cathcart was born on Feb. 9, 1825 in New London. He went to California during the gold rush in 1849. He died on Apr. 28, 1904 in New London.
When Gen. Marquis de Lafayette visited New London in 1824, he was greeted with a 24 gun salute at Fort Trumbull. He was then greeted by Gen. Burbeck, who shared camp with him at Brandywine and Monmouth, and a small circle of former Revolutionary War officers. They all sat down for an afternoon dinner with the legendary French general.
In 1828, Gen. Burbeck participated in a 4th of July celebration in New London. Gen. Burbeck was one of thirteen volunteers who gave thirteen toasts in honor of the original thirteen states. Three cheers were then given "…for the girl I left behind me."
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