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1862 Abraham Lincoln Signed Military Commission
Starting Bid - $2,500.00, Sold For - $7,540.00
One-page War Department military commission signed by Abraham Lincoln (1809-65), sixteenth President of the United States. The fully executed commission, partially handwritten and printed on official War Department letterhead, is dated January 29, 1862 and appoints Judson Kilpatrick as an aide-de-camp to Major General George McClellan. With the position, Kilpatrick is also informed that he has been promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. The commission, issued during the Civil War, has been flawlessly signed in black ink by "Abraham Lincoln" ("10") and also by Secretary of War "Edwin M. Stanton" ("10"). One of the many distinguishing characteristics of this piece is the fact that Lincoln has penned his full-name signature rather than the more commonly found "A. Lincoln." Also interesting to note is the apparent urgency of the appointment. Where the printed notation reads, "Should the Senate, at their next session, advise and consent thereto, you will by commissioned accordingly," the entire line has been voided in red ink. Again, at the bottom of the commission, where it instructs Kilpatrick to report by letter for his orders, "letter" has been crossed out and "in person" written above it in black ink. The urgency may have been related to an executive order Lincoln issued just two days earlier, on January 27th, authorizing the Union to launch a unified aggressive action against the Confederacy. Unfortunately, General McClellan ignored that order. Lincoln became increasingly upset with McClellan's inactivity and on March 8th he reorganized the Army of Virginia and relieved McClellan of supreme command. Judson Kilpatrick was an officer of some note and is best known today for having been the first regular Army officer to be wounded in action during the Civil War. A vain and pompous individual, he later took part in the raid on Richmond, at which time Sherman was quoted as saying, "I know Kilpatrick is a hell of a damned fool, but I want just that sort of man to command my cavalry." The fold-over document (penned on the front side only) measures 8 x 10 inches and displays two horizontal fold lines as well as a few slight surface wrinkles and two small tears (one on the top border of the front page, the other on the back page). Technically in Very Good to Excellent condition, with an even stronger overall Excellent appearance. It is rare to find such an exceptional Lincoln signed military document dating from the heart of the Civil War, let alone one with such an extraordinary signature. Accompanied by an 8 x 10 photographic print of Lincoln that would be ideal for framing with the signed commission. LOA from Steve Grad & John Reznikoff/PSA DNA. Reserve $2,500. Estimate $5,000/$10,000. SOLD FOR $7,540.00
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