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Thomas H. Cushing began his military career during the Revolutionary War where the Brigadier General first earned the ranks of sergeant, first lieutenant, then finally captain after he was captured and released by the British in 1781. Cushing served as the Adjutant and Inspector General of the Army during the interim years leading up to the War of 1812, when Cushing was promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in 1812. Cushing served as the Adjutant General of the Army during the war and was in charge of Military District Number One, with his command consisting of the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. In this presented letter written by Cushing to Major Timothy Upham, Cushing strikes a bureaucratic tone in his effort to drum up recruiting and supplies needed to protect the northern frontier of the country from British incursion. Massachusetts would supply 46,000 men to the war effort, with New Hampshire adding an additional 6,000 men. With the British impressing Americans into service, the need for manpower to aid the war effort was crucial to the United States defense of the country. Cushing informs Major Upham of the recruitments under way and who and where the recruits will report to, giving the Major precise detail as to the movements of those recruits and their commanding officers. The War of 1812 would conclude with the Treaty of Ghent signed by Great Britain and the United States on December 24, 1814. News of the cessation of hostilities had not yet reached New Orleans before General Andrew Jackson, outnumbered and outgunned, defeated the British assault on the city in 30 minutes, inflicting 2,000 casualties while restoring a sense of honor and pride to the American people.

                Military District No. 1.

Head Qrs Boston 1st February 1814


I have been instructed by the War Department, to furnish Lieut. Hight of the Lt. Artillery with one field six pounder & Caissoon, with harness and implements complete, and six draft & ten saddle horses, for the recruiting service.  Lieut. Hights recruits (and those by other officers of the same regiment) are to be provided with the “necessary armament, equipment & clothing, as used in the field.” And you will please to sign the proper returns of these officers for such articles. Captain Foster, being ordered to Pittsfield, where he will have charge of a Post & Depot, will be instructed to report to you, his progress in the recruiting service only; and to incorporate his recruits with the detachment at the close of each month, after which they are to be noted “Joined the regiment” and drop’d from the recruiting returns. You will also make a similar note respecting the men to be turned over by Captain Harrison & Lt Chandler, so soon as you shall have been notified by them, that the men have been sent from their respective rendezvous. Ensign Edmund Badger of the 9th Regt has reported himself from Williamstown for the recruiting service. I shall attach to Captain Foster, who will employ him at Pittsfield, or in its neighborhood, as may be found most expedient, and any recruits he may enlist will be accounted for by Captain Foster, who will supply him with funds.

                I am Sir, very respectfully

your obedt servt

T.H. Cushing

Brigr Genl Cong

Major Timothy Upham

21st Regt Infy


The letter is addressed to “Lieut Col. Timothy Upham 21st Regiment Infantry Portsmouth, N.H.” the 8 x 10-inch letter was written with black ink on paper. The letter displays evidence of cornering, toning, and edging. A postmark stamped “BOSTON MS FEB 2 Free” appears on the addressed portion of the letter in red. The recruitment letter signed by Brigadier General Thomas Cushing to a Major Timothy Upham comes with an LOA from University Archives and a LOA from Beckett Authentication (AA09026)

1812 Thomas H. Cushing Signed Recruiting in War of 1812 From New Hamshire & Massachusetts (University Archives LOA & Beckett)
Current Bidding
Minimum Bid: $100.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $123.00
Number Bids: 1
Auction closed on Wednesday, April 7, 2021.
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