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British Gen. Wellington, Napoleon's rival, vouches for the conduct of an officer in this fascinating handwritten letter dated July 21, 1811. Written in scratchy hand with a feathered pen on both sides of 9 x 17" paper, the note speaks of Wellington's involvement in even relatively small military matters. Wellington wrote this miraculously maintained document (EX) a short time before he helped the Spanish win the Battle of Talavera. That earned him a viscountcy. He then became an earl in February 1812, a marquess in October and finally the Duke of Wellington in 1814. He signed "Your most obedient servant, Wellington" (10/10). If anybody besides Napoleon could use a single name, it was Wellington.
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