Godfrey Weitzel (1835-1885) of Cincinnati, Ohio, graduated second in the Class of 1855 from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and gained the attention of Superintendent Robert E. Lee. His first assignment was under P.G.T. Beauregard in New Orleans. As a first lieutenant in the Army Corps of Engineers in 1861, he served as one of the bodyguards during President Abraham Lincoln's first inauguration. He served throughout the entire Civil War. Among his actions and command was, assistant military commander and acting mayor of New Orleans after it fell to the Union, command of a brigade in the XIX Corps starting in the Spring of 1863, chief engineer in the Army of the James during the Richmond Campaign, command of the U.S. Colored Troops in XVII Corps starting in September 1864, and command of all Union troops north of Appomattox near the end of the war. He formally accepted the surrender of the Confederate capital and setup his headquarters in Confederate President Jefferson Davis's home in Richmond. He was Lincoln's aide and bodyguard during the negotiations with the Confederates that followed. After the war's end, he and the African American soldiers under his command were sent to the Southwest to guard against the French who had invaded Mexico and mustered out of the volunteers on March 1, 1866, and then received this brevet promotion to brigadier general in the U.S. Army. He remained in the regular U.S. Army and was promoted to major later in 1866 and then lieutenant colonel in 1882. A street in Arlington National Cemetery is named after him. This commission to brevet brigadier general with rank from March 13, 1865, for "gallant and meritorious service in the campaign terminating with the surrender of the insurgent army under General Robert E. Lee" is dated July 17, 1866, and has a facsimile of President Andrew Johnson's signature on the lower right, a hand signed signature of Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton. On the upper left, it is noted as recorded in the Adjutant General's Office's records on the same date and signed by Assistant Adjutant General Edward D. Townsend (later the Adjutant General of the U.S. Army). The carte de visite has a profile bust portrait of Weitzel signed "Yours Truly/G. Weitzel/Brig. Genl." on the front and "FROM/WALTER & HEUCK'S/GALLERY,/Successors to PORTER,/106 Fourth St., Cincinnati." markings and "Gen Godfrey Weitzel/signed" in pencil on the back.
Very fine with mild age related wear on both items and distinct writing and image. This will make an excellent addition to a Civil War collection.
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