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Lot #3
Abraham Lincoln Document Signed as President

Pivotal Lincoln appointment dating to his order of the Fort Sumter supply expedition

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Estimate: $6000+
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Pivotal Lincoln appointment dating to his order of the Fort Sumter supply expedition

Civil War-dated partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 16 x 19.75, March 29, 1861. President Lincoln appoints Robert H. Hall as a "Second Lieutenant in the Tenth Regiment of Infantry." Signed neatly at the conclusion by Abraham Lincoln, and countersigned by Secretary of War Simon Cameron. The embossed orange War Office seal remains intact. In very good to fine condition, with a small stain to the upper right edge, and some vellum loss to the lower right.

March of 1861 was a significant month for Abraham Lincoln, who on the fourth of the month was inaugurated as President of the United States. During his inaugural address he beseeched to the seceded Southern states that ‘we must not be enemies,’ but likewise made clear that the Union was undissolvable, secession impossible, and that any use of arms against the United States would be regarded as rebellion—and met with force.

On the following day, Lincoln learned from Major Robert Anderson that the provisions at Fort Sumter, lying in Charleston Harbor of seceded South Carolina, would be exhausted in about four to six weeks, and that to relieve and reinforce the fort would require no less than ‘twenty thousand good and well-disciplined men.’ Despite General Winfield Scott’s suggestion to surrender the fort and evacuate the troops with a potential ‘truce, or informal understanding,’ Lincoln, after days of deliberation with his cabinet, made his decision on March 29, 1861: supply ships were being sent to Fort Sumter. Historians agree that Lincoln’s swift actions, which essentially triggered the start of the Civil War, point to the moment that he truly ‘began to act as commander in chief.’

Career Army officer Robert H. Hall (1837-1914) of Detroit graduated from the West Point Military Academy on July 1, 1860. During the Civil War, Hall served as Acting Asst. Adjutant-General on the Staff of Edward Canby, and then later as Aide-de‑Camp to Major-General Joseph Hooker, fighting valiantly in numerous battles and skirmishes; he was appointed Bvt. Lieut.‑Colonel on August 19, 1864, for Gallant and Meritorious Services at the Battle of Weldon Railroad, Virginia. He retired from active duty with the rank of Brigadier-General on November 15, 1901.

Auction Info

  • Auction Title: Fine Autograph and Artifacts, Ft. Prince
  • Dates: #627 - Ended January 12, 2022

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