GRANT, ULYSSES S., President. Autograph letter signed as Lt. General, Commander in Chief, U.S. Army, to "Officers Commanding Troops in the Souther States," Washington, D.C., 20 March 1866. One page, 4to, on lined stationery with legend: "Head Quarters, Armies of the United States," with matching envelope.
"...FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE FUTURE READER"
A very interesting letter of introduction and safe-conduct for the author, historian and artist, Benson J. Lossing, permitting him to travel the recent battlefields of the occupied South while compiling his monumental account of the Civil War, The Pictorial History of the Civil War (Hartford, 1868).
"The bearer of this, Mr. B.F. Lossing, Historian, visits the South for the purpose of seeing different battle-fields and to illustrate them for the benefit of the future reader of the scenes through which this country has passed. Mr. Lossing is commended to such officers of the Army as he meets with in his undertaking and facilities asked for him in his enterprizes. All favors granted in this respect will be appreciated by him and myself...."
Lossing (1813-1891) had established himself as an engraver, illustrator and popular author in New York; in 1850-52 he compiled and illustrated the very popular Pictorial Field Book of the Revolution, which served as a model for the even more successful Pictorial History of the Civil War (1866-68; later editions were entitled Pictorial Field Book of the Civil War), profusely illustrated by wood-engravings after photographs and original sketches made on the battle-sites by Lossing. See Grant, Papers, ed. John Y. Simon, 1988, 270n. Grant later gave Lossing permission to engrave a copy of a testimonial medal he had been awarded.