Abraham Lincoln signed document (1809–1865) (PF10)
An exceptionally rare piece of autographed political memorabilia - a Presidential document signed by Abraham Lincoln...
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As the American Civil War raged across the country, President Lincoln signed his name to a rare military commission appointing James H. Carleton Brigadier General of Volunteers in April 1862.
The Volunteers had a significant presence on the south-western front, and in 1862 Carleton was leading a column of troops from California, through Arizona, New Mexico and Texas: the states bordering Mexico.
The main purpose of the extraordinary 900 mile march was to drive Texan rebels out of New Mexico and Arizona.
The Confederates retreated before them.
However, the two sides met once, for the most western battle of the Civil War at Picacho Pass.
Otherwise Carleton fought a much greater direct threat from the uprising of Apache Indians.
Despite relatively little contact with Confederates, Lincoln had entrusted Carleton with a crucial role.
From January 1862, Napoleon III of France had invaded Mexico.
His plan to set up a puppet ruler there involved recognition of, and alliance with, the Confederacy, and the Unionists could not afford for the Confederates to establish a foothold in the south-west states with a potential ally just over the border.
These covenants between appointee and Commander in Chief are rarely seen, given their age and delicate nature.
The size of the document is impressive and makes a fine display.
This example measures 15.75 x 19.25inches and is beautifully illustrated with the engraved eagle and flag vignette.
The original embossed, blue paper seal also remains intact.
President Lincoln has executed his signature meticulously signing 'Abraham Lincoln' just below the partly printed text.
The signature is crisp, precise and prominent.
Edwin M. Stanton, Lincoln's Secretary of War has countersigned the document next to the President's flowing signature.
Considering the historical significance, the Presidential signature, and the age of document, this is an item not to be missed.
James Henry Carleton (1814-1873) grew up in Maine.
He served in the 1846-48 Mexican war, notably at the battle of Buena, on which he immediately wrote a book. He was brevetted for gallantry during the conflict.
In 1848 he married Sophia Garland Wolfe, niece of General John Garland, and was reported to be a faithful and devoted husband and (later) father.
He served under Garland in New Mexico for several years. In 1859 he was sent to investigate the 1957 Mountain Meadows massacre of an unarmed train of Arkansas emigrants, and wrote a report concluding Mormons dressed as Indians had been responsible.
After the Confederate threat had receded in the New Mexico region, a threat from raiding Indians remained, and Carleton battled ferociously against them, especially the Navajo against whom he was brutally effective.
He was made Brevet Major General in 1865 and continued to serve, with the US cavalry, from 1866.
Carleton's grasp of tactics in his various military writings impressed both Jefferson Davis and General George B McClellan. He died of pneumonia in Texas in 1873.
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