General Henry Goddard Thomas
What a great collectible! Never seen such a fancy U.S. passport before but more important it was issued to an iconic military figure. Too bad, I missed grabbing it!
PASSPORT ISSUED TO A GENERAL OF COLORED TROOPS General Henry Goddard Thomas
A post-war partly-printed passport was issued to Brevet Brigadier General Henry Goddard Thomas (1837-1897), who enlisted as a private in the 5th Maine in 1861 and rose to the rank of brevet brig. general and commander of U.S. Colored Troops, most notably during the Battle of the Crater. This passport was issued by the Department of State, 1p. folio, March 29, 1884, Washington, reading, in part: “…Know ye, That the bearer Brevet Brigadier General Henry G. Thomas, of the United States Army, is about proceeding abroad…permit him to pass freely…and protection as would be extended to like officers of Foreign Governments…”. Signed by FREDERICK T. FRELINGHUYSEN (1814-1885) as Secretary of State under President Chester A. Arthur. Housed in a leather slipcase with gold lettering “General Thomas, U. S. Army” appeared on the outside.
THE COLORED TROOPS AT PETERSBURG.
BY HENRY GODDARD THOMAS, BREVET MAJOR-GENERAL, U. S. V.
EAST of Petersburg, on high ground, protruding like the ugly horn of a rhinoceros, stood the Confederate earthwork, fortified as a battery, which we undermined and exploded July 30th, 1804. It did a good deal of goring before we destroyed it. Its position enabled the garrison to throw a somewhat enfilading fire into our lines, under which many fell, a few at a time. For some time previous to the explosion of the mine it was determined by General Burnside that the colored division should lead the assault. The general tactical plan had been given to the brigade commanders (Colonel Sigfried and myself), with a rough outline map of the ground, and directions to study the front for ourselves. But this latter was impracticable except in momentary glimpses. The enemy made a target of every head that appeared above the work, and their marksmanship was good. The manner of studying the ground was this: Putting my battered old hat on a ramrod and lifting it above the rampart just enough for them not to discover that no man was under it, I drew their fire; then stepping quickly a few paces one side, I took a hasty observation. (Extract)
Read more …on the topic of the colored troops at Petersburg and
“A Brief Chronology of the 23rd Regiment, United States Colored Troops”