Skip to main content
Go to accessibility notice


    Abraham Lincoln Document Signed "Abraham Lincoln" as President and "Simon Cameron" as Secretary of War, one page, 13" x 16.5" visible. Washington, August 16, 1861. Registered in the upper left: "L. Thomas" as Adjutant General. Partly printed commission of 19-year-old Henry E. Smith of New York to be First Lieutenant in the Twelfth Regiment of Infantry as of May 14, 1861. Attractive military vignettes at top and bottom have faded a bit, with orange 2"-diameter paper seal intact. The signatures are clear. A horizontal fold passes through the lower portion of Lincoln's signature and the "S" of Cameron's signature. Vertical folds pass through the "C" of "Cameron" and the "h" of "Abraham." The handwriting has almost completely faded, and the identity of the soldier was determined by inspecting the records of the U.S. Senate Executive Journal using the faded but decipherable information extracted from this document. On July 31, 1861, Secretary of War Simon Cameron proposed Smith's appointment, with others, in a letter to President Lincoln: "Sir: I have the honor to propose for your approbation the following list of appointments in the eleven regiments added to the Regular Army of the United States by the act approved July 29, 1861... Henry E. Smith, of the Volunteers, to be first lieutenant, May 14, 1861; age 19; born in New York." The same day, President Lincoln sent Cameron's list to U.S. Senate for approval: "I nominate the persons named in the accompanying list for appointment in the Army of the United States, as proposed by the Secretary of War." On August 5, 1861, the Senate confirmed Smith's appointment as well as the others proposed by Lincoln on July 31, 1861, including William T. Sherman (to be Colonel) and First Lieutenant Philip H. Sheridan to be Captain. On February 23, 1863, President Lincoln nominated First Lieutenant Smith "to be captain by brevet, June 27, 1862, for distinguished services in the battles before Richmond" and on July 20, 1866, President Andrew Johnson nominated Captain Smith "to be major by brevet, for gallant and meritorious services at the battle of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to date from July 2, 1863." On April 12, 1869, Captain Henry E. Smith of Company B, 21st Regiment of Infantry, left Richmond for Omaha and onto San Francisco over the then just completed Union and Central Pacific Railroads, being part of the first contingent of troops that made the transcontinental journey entirely by rail. Double matted and framed under glass to an overall size of 21" x 24.75".

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    February, 2008
    21st-22nd Thursday-Friday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 7
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 865

    Buyer's Premium per Lot:
    19.5% of the successful bid (minimum $9) per lot.

    Sold for: Sign-in or Join (free & quick)

    Heritage membership

    Join Now - It's Free

    1. Past Auction Values (prices, photos, full descriptions, etc.)
    2. Bid online
    3. Free Collector newsletter
    4. Want List with instant e-mail notifications
    5. Reduced auction commissions when you resell your
    Consign now
    • Cash Advances
    • More Bidders
    • Trusted Experts
    • Over 200,000 Satisfied Consignors Since 1976
    Only 43 days left to consign to the 2020 April 23 Historical Manuscripts Signature Auction - Dallas!

    Learn about consigning with us

    This was my first time dealing with an auction house, and I am 100% completely impressed with Heritage. There is not an aspect of this process that I have a critique for.
    Darryl S.,
    Stuart, FL
    View More Testimonials receives more traffic than any other auction house website. (Source:

    Video tutorial

    Getting the most out of search

    Recent auctions

    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    2019 December 14 Historic Flags of World War II Signature Auction - Dallas
    REALIZED $1,022,424