The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969 Page: 443
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Notes and Documents
William Jackson Palmer (1836-1909)," to whom these letters were
addressed, was reared a Quaker in Philadelphia, but when the Civil
War became a reality he felt it his duty to enter the military. His
ambitious nature led him to raise a troop of cavalry as opposed to
merely enlisting in the army. This troop of cavalry was enlarged into
the Fifteenth Pennsylvania Volunteer Cavalry in 1862, and it was into
this enlarged organization that Adam Kramer enlisted. Palmer led the
Fifteenth Pennsylvania to a distinguished record during the Civil
War, and by the end of that conflict he was a brevet brigadier general.
As a captain in the Fifteenth Pennsylvania, Kramer commanded a
company of cavalry. After the mustering out of the regiment, Kramer
sought the aid of General Palmer in trying to obtain a commission
in the Army. He wanted to became a professional soldier, but when
he believed he would not receive a commission he became one of the
many men to ask Palmer, then Treasurer of the Union Pacific Eastern
Division, for a position.'
Kramer's letters to Palmer contain information on American atti-
tudes toward French intervention in Mexico (1861-1867), on Texas
history, and on the American military in Texas in 1866 and 1867.
Minor alterations in punctuation have been made in the tran-
scription of the letters; Kramer's spelling has been retained.
Brazos Santiago Tex5
Jan 5th 1866
Genl Wm. J. Palmer
Thinking that a few lines from this part of the country would not
be uninteresting to you, I will endeaver to give you a short outline of
my doings since leaving Philadelphia, although there is nothing very
3For additional information on William Jackson Palmer see Dumas Malone (ed.),
Dictionary of American Biography (2o vols.; New York, 1943), VII, 195-196, and John S.
Fisher, A Builder of the West: The Life of General William Jackson Palmer (Caldwell,
'The Union Pacific Railway Eastern Division is not to be confused with the Union
Pacific. They were two entirely separate lines. The Union Pacific Eastern Division was
originally chartered by the Kansas Territorial Legislature in 1855 as the Leavenworth,
Pawnee and Western Railroad. In 1862 it was included in the Pacific Railway Act and
given a subsidy and land grant just as was the Union Pacific. The Union Pacific Eastern
Division was also given the right to connect with the Union Pacific at the tooth meridian.
In 1863 the name was changed to the Union Pacific Railway Eastern Division. See,
Dictionary of American History (New York, 1940), III, 198.
5Brazos Santiago was one of the first ports in Texas and was situated at the northern
tip of Brazos Santiago Island, some seven to ten miles north of the mouth of the Rio
Grande River. Port Isabel is almost directly west of the site of Brazos Santiago, and
Padre Island lies directly north of Brazos Santiago Island. Tom Lea, The King Ranch
(2 vols.; Boston, 1957), I, 26-27.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 72, July 1968 - April, 1969, periodical, 1969; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117146/m1/277/: accessed March 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.