Gen. Grant letter turns up in Hazelwood library

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For a 143-year-old piece of paper, a letter written by Ulysses S. Grant recently unearthed at the Brown County Historical Society's library is in pretty good shape.

"You can still see the ink quite clearly," said Wendy Barszcz, executive director of the society. "That's good for a document of this age."

The communiqué from Gen. Grant to then-Capt. Melancton Smith came at a crucial junction in the Civil War in City Point, Va., requesting Smith sweep the James River for mines.

Browned with age but in good physical condition, the two-sided letter has both historical and local significance — Smith died at his half-sister Elizabeth Martin's home in Hazelwood and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in Allouez.

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