DescriptionAbraham Lincoln Brigadier General Commission Signed as President. One page, 13.75" x 17.75" (sight size), framed under glass to an overall 15.75" x 20". Washington, March 28, 1865. Countersigned: "Edwin M. Stanton" as Secretary of War. Just 18 days later, Stanton was at the mortally wounded president's bedside and when Lincoln died, uttered the memorable words, "Now he belongs to the ages." Appointment of William Humphrey to "the rank of Brigadier General By Brevet from the First day of August in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and Sixty four, for conspicuous and gallant services, both as a regimental and brigade commander throughout the campaign." On December 12, 1864, in a message to the U.S. Senate, President Lincoln nominated "Colonel William Humphrey, of the Second Michigan Volunteers" to be Brigadier General By Brevet, as proposed by Secretary of War Stanton, for the reasons stated on this commission. His nomination was referred to the Senate Committee on Military Affairs and the Militia on January 6, 1865, was reported favorably to the entire Senate on February 17th, and approved by the Senate on February 20, 1865. This commission was recorded on March 28, 1865, and is certified: "E D Townsend" as Assistant Adjutant General in the upper left. Fine condition, blue seal affixed at left. Superb military vignette across bottom. Mid-vertical and five horizontal folds, else fine. A horizontal fold just nicks the upper portion of the "Ab" and "L" of Lincoln's magnificent, full signature.
Accompanied by the booklet "Your Capitol and Mine, A Story of Michigan's Government for Young Readers," 96 pages, 6" x 9", relating, on page 56, an incident involving then-Colonel William Humphrey asking a wounded soldier at the Battle of Bull Run if he needed water. The wounded soldier, 16-year-old Washington Gardner, later served as Michigan's Secretary of State (1894-1899) and U.S. Congressman (1899-1911). A notarized letter from Brigadier General Humphrey's great grandson indicating that this document had been in his family until 2006 is also present.
Lincoln commissions for Civil War generals rarely appear on the market and this is an attractive example signed less than three weeks before his assassination.
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