Thursday, July 31, 2008

Better Late Than Never

According to the Rapid City Journal in South Dakota, Capt. Charles W. Fenton of the 13th Cavalry hasn't had a mailbox at Fort Meade in 107 years. So when his captain's commission from 1901 arrived at the Fort Meade Post Office, Postmaster Kathy Wacker didn't quite know what to do with it and decided to forward it to the Director of the Fort Meade Museum.

Kathy suspects somebody may have dropped it back into the mail recently, but she and the museum's director, Charles Rambow, agree that the whole thing is a mystery to them and are trying to figure out where it came from. In the meantime, they are also searching for any descendents of Capt. Fenton.

The parchment scroll, printed in calligraphy and bearing the signatures of both President William McKinley and Secretary of War Elijah Root, arrived at Fort Meade safely rolled in a mailing tube in March.

The parchment is in nearly perfect condition. The cardboard tube, addressed to Fenton in the perfect penmanship of the past and bearing a military mail designation in lieu of postage, looks like it has survived 107 years in the U.S. postal system.

Shown above, Charles Rambow, director of the Fort Meade Museum,outside the museum with Capt. Charles W. Fenton's commission.

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM