Extremely rare partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 15.75 x 19.75, May 14, 1881. President Garfield appoints Lorenzo Lorain a “Major in the First Regiment of Artillery in the Service of the United States.” Beautifully signed at the conclusion by Garfield, and countersigned by Secretary of War Robert Todd Lincoln. In fine condition, with crisp intersecting folds (one horizontal fold passing through a small portion of signature).
A graduate of West Point’s class of 1856, Lorenzo Lorain began his military career on garrison duty in the Oregon Territory, where he remained until the start of the Civil War. Joining Company E, 3rd Artillery, Lorain was severely wounded at the Battle of Blackburn’s Ford in the Manassas Campaign of July 1861, earning the rank of Brevet Captain for his actions. Plagued by his injury for the remainder of his life, Lorain never again saw active duty but stayed involved in the military, teaching at West Point, Lehigh University, and at the Artillery School at Fortress Monroe. Shortly before his death in 1882, President Garfield—whose service as a Major General in the Civil War shaped his entire political career—bestowed a final honor upon Lorain, appointing him Major in the First Regiment of Artillery. Military appointments from Garfield’s tragically short presidency are exceedingly rare.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.