General Alexander S. Webb Autograph - Inventory Number: AUT 049
Preprinted invoice from the Columbia Chemical Works filled out in period ink charging The College of the City of New York, of which Webb was president, for two dozen bottles of ammonia. The document is marked as the original invoice and bears a strong ink signature of “ALEX. S. WEBB” over “PRES.”
Document meas. approx. 8.25 x 7.00 inches and is in good condition with only one horizontal fold line at center and light surface discoloration from age. Reverse has a nice period advertisement for ammonia.
Alexander Stewart Webb was born in New York City on February 15, 1835. He graduated from West Point in 1855 and was assigned to the artillery.
He saw service in the Seminole War in 1856 and in 1857 he returned to West Point as an instructor in mathematics.
When the Civil War began Webb took part in the defense of Fort Pickens and served on the staff of General W. F. Barry, Chief of Artillery of the Union Army. He saw service at 1st Bull Run and the Peninsula where he served as Barry’s inspector general. During the Antietam Campaign Webb served as chief of staff for the 5th Corps and was then assigned to a camp of instruction in Washington, D. C. as inspector of artillery.
In January of 1863 he became assistant inspector general of the 5th Corps and on June 23, 1863 he was promoted to Brigadier General and assigned to command of the 2nd Brigade, 2nd Division, 2nd Corps. During the battle of Gettysburg, it was Webb’s Brigade which caught the brunt of Pickett’s Charge on July 3rd. The brigade lost 451 men killed and wounded during the fighting. Webb himself was wounded and would later receive the Medal of Honor for his actions.
He commanded the 2nd Division of the 2nd Corps until April 1864 when he reverted to his old brigade. During the Overland Campaign Webb was seriously wounded at Spotsylvania and did not return to the army until January of 1865. He was appointed General Meade’s chief of staff and held that position through the end of the war and was brevetted major general.
In 1866 he was appointed lieutenant colonel of the 44th
Infantry and returned to West Point as an instructor.
In 1870 Webb was discharged from the Army at his own request to accept the presidency of the College of the City of New York. He served in that post for 33 years.
Alexander Webb died at his home in Riverdale, New York on February 12, 1911 and is buried at West Point.
Inventory Number: AUT 049