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Carte de visite photograph, c. 1864. Imprint of E & H.T. Anthony, from negative by Brady, Washington. Signed "N. A. Miles" in lower margin. Dated Oct. 21, 1865 in period manuscript, and "Miles" written faintly in pencil, verso. Very light discoloration from old album mounting, verso.
Nelson A. Miles (1839-1925) fought in many crucial battles during the Civil War, sustaining four wounds and receiving the Medal of Honor for gallantry at Chancellorsville. On October 21, 1865 (the date written on this CDV) he was appointed a major general of volunteers at the age of 26. After the war, Miles played a leading role in nearly all of the U.S. Army's campaigns against the American Indian tribes of the Great Plains, and in 1886 accepted the surrender of the Apache under Geronimo. From 1895 to 1903, he served as the last Commanding General of the United States Army before the office was abolished, forced to retire in 1903 due to the Army's mandatory retirement age.
About the signature...When first acquired I was not convinced it was autographed. Normally Miles signed his name in full, writing "Nelson A. Miles" in a continuous flowing script. Only occasionally did he abbreviate it to "N.A. Miles" but there are examples. For comparison, I have posted one that is close (note similarity of letters N and M). Signatures are known to evolve over time, and most available for comparison are from later in his career. I am confident this is a true signature and not merely a period ID. Another hand appears to have written "Maj. Gen." and the date.
2.5 x 4 in.Arizona Archive is a little portal on the past maintained by antiquarian and collector Victor Mongeau of Tucson, Arizona. I have been rounding up and dispersing historical Americana longer than I can remember, and dealing professionally since I was a junior in high school. The authenticity of everything I sell is guaranteed without exception, and condition will be excellent unless stated. Be sure to see all of my current listings, and check back often. Combine multiple purchases at checkout and pay one rate for delivery. Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to serving you!