Attractive letter signed by Stephen A. Douglas and James Shields, both as Senators from Illinois, March 23, 1854, headed “Senate Washington”, addressed to “Hon. Jefferson Davis” as Secretary of War under Franklin Pierce, in full:
I take great pleasure in presenting to you in this manner my young friend William B Reynolds Esq. of Illinois who desires an appointment in the Army – A Captaincy or first Lieutenancy –
Mr. Reynolds has had the advantage of considerable Military education, as well as of much experience, having been in some of the battles of the late War with Mexico etc etc. Having a taste for that kind of life, with his qualifications, I feel satisfied that he will be of great service in the Army, and I will be gratified if he can be put into a vacancy or appointed in the new regiments.
I have the honor to be with great respect..
Fascinating letter tying the North to the South ahead of the Civil War as Shields served for the Union in the Civil War, and at the Battle of Kernstown, his troops inflicted the only tactical defeat of Stonewall Jackson in the war. Davis would become the only President of the Confederate States of America. Douglas would run for President in 1960, losing to Abraham Lincoln.