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Lot #13
Abraham Lincoln

Lincoln appoints the engineer who revolutionized the Union's rail transport in 1862

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Estimate: $6000+
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Lincoln appoints the engineer who revolutionized the Union's rail transport in 1862

Partly-printed DS as president, one page, 13.25 x 17, July 30, 1862. President Lincoln appoints Herman Haupt as "Additional Aide-de-Camp with the rank of Colonel in the service of the United States." Boldly signed at the conclusion in ink by President Lincoln and countersigned by Secretary of War Edward M. Stanton; also endorsed in the upper left by Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas. The blue seal affixed to the upper left remains intact. Handsomely matted to an overall size of 18.25 x 22. In fine condition.

Herman Haupt was a civil engineer and railroad executive who revolutionized the use of rail transportation by the military during the Civil War. At the time of this appointment, Major General Irvin McDowell was in command of the defenses of Washington, DC. Taking this position as his aide, Haupt repaired and fortified war-damaged railroad lines in the vicinity of Washington, armed and trained railroad staff, and improved telegraph communications along the railroad lines. He also oversaw the restoration of the Potomac Creek Bridge after its partial destruction by rebel forces. President Lincoln was impressed with Haupt's work, observing: 'That man Haupt has built a bridge four hundred feet long and one hundred feet high, across Potomac Creek, on which loaded trains are passing every hour, and upon my word, gentlemen, there is nothing in it but cornstalks and beanpoles.' Historians today recognize the Union's rail advantage as a driving force behind its victory in the Civil War.

Provenance: Collection of James C. Seacrest, a noted collector and philanthropist from Nebraska.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autographs and Artifacts
  • Dates: #578 - Ended March 04, 2020

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