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Lot 4: 1861 Civil War JOHN JACOB ASTOR Signed Union Army Military Pass Rarity
29 October 2016
Rancho Santa Fe, CA, USALive Auction
1861 Colonel John Jacob Astor Signed Military Pass Rarity
JOHN JACOB ASTOR (1822-1890). American Financier, Philanthropist and a Soldier during the American Civil War. He was a prominent member of the Astor family, becoming the wealthiest family member in his generation and brevetted as Brigadier General in 1865.
December 28, 1861-Dated Civil War, Partly-Printed Document Signed, "J.J. Astor / Col & A.D.C." by Colonel John Jacob Astor, being a Signed & Issued Union Army Military Pass, Very Fine. This historic 1861, early Civil War issued official Military Pass is remarkable in being signed, "J.J. Astor / Col & A.D.C.", measuring 3.75" x 2.5" boldly completed and signed in deep brown on heavy stock off-white wove period paper. Minor expected scattered soiling and creased from actual use, blank reverse, yet overall having vivid eye appeal for display. This rare Military Pass reads, in full:
"Headquarters Army of the Potomac, Dec-28th, 1861. Pass Mr. March to visit the Camps in Virginia & back to Washington for this day only. By command of Major General McClellan: (Signed) J.J. Astor / Cpl & A.D.C. Not Transferable."
During the American Civil War, Astor served as a volunteer aide-de-camp to Major General George B. McClellan (then Commanding General of the U.S. Army) from November 30, 1861 to July 11, 1862. In recognition of his services during the Peninsular Campaign, Astor was brevetted as a Brigadier General of Volunteers in March 1865. Exceedingly Rare.
John Jacob Astor III (June 10, 1822 - February 22, 1890) was an American financier, philanthropist, and a prominent member of the Astor family. He was the eldest son of real estate businessman William Backhouse Astor, Sr.
During the American Civil War, Astor served as a volunteer aide-de-camp to Major General George B. McClellan (then commanding general of the U.S. Army) from November 30, 1861 to July 11, 1862. In recognition of his services during the Peninsular Campaign, Astor was brevetted as a brigadier general of Volunteers in March 1865.
In 1880 he became a companion of the New York Commandery of the Military Order of the Loyal Legion of the United States - a military society of officers who had served in the Union armed forces. He was assigned insignia number 1909.
He regarded his Civil War service as the best of his life and attended the reunions of the Loyal Legion with zeal.