Governor John Letcher

This Day (Stuffed Horse Edition)

You might remember how the rather querulous Winfield Scott was made brevet lieutenant general, an honorary promotion dating back to one of his great Mexican War victories. (He accepted the honor by immediately demanding back pay.) Well, today was that great victory. On this day in 1847, Mexico surrendered the city of Vera Cruz. Nicely played all around, General Scott.
A bit earlier, on this day in 1813, John Letcher was born in Lexington. Letcher was the son of a merchant, and I encourage you to check out his portrait (that’s it above): he’s a merchant-looking fellow himself. Right out of Central Casting, if you ask me. Anyway, Letcher became governor of Virginia just in time for the Civil War, and in 1864, Union troops burned his Lexington home.
And speaking of Lexington, when Encyclopedia Virginia visited the town a couple years ago we saw the Virginia Military Institute, and even ooh’ed and aw’ed at Stonewall Jackson‘s stuffed horse, Little Sorrel. (My understanding is that he wasn’t stuffed when Jackson rode him.) But no mention anywhere of the merchant-looking lawyer John Letcher. Too bad.
See excellent photo of Stuffed Sorrel here.
A version of this post was originally published on March 29, 2011.
IMAGE: A merchant-looking fellow


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