"He acted patriottically [sic] and well in the West in the beginning of our troubles"
Abraham Lincoln Double Autograph Endorsements Signed
"A. Lincoln" and
"A.L." Four integral pages, 8" x 10"
(sight), "House of Representatives," July 5, 1862, addressed
"To His Excellency / The President of the United
States," and signed by thirteen senators and representatives,
including Robert Mallory (Kentucky), William A. Hall
(Missouri), and Henry M. Rice (Minnesota). In the
endorsements, Lincoln wonders if he has the authority, following a
recent act of Congress, to promote William Prince from major in the
3rd Infantry to brigadier general of Volunteers. The body of the
letter written in an unknown hand and dated July 5, 1862, reads in
"The undersigned Senators and Representatives in Congress would most respectfully recommend Major William E. Prince of the 3rd Infantry for appointment to the office of Brigadier General of Volunteers. Major Prince has been for a long time in the service of the government in the Regular Army and we believe him to possess eminent qualifications for the position we ask for him."
Both of President Lincoln's endorsements appear on the fourth integral page. The first is dated July 19, 1862, and reads in full:
"I am induced to believe the appointment of Major Prince would be a good one. He acted patriottically [sic] and well in the West in the beginning of our troubles. Gen. Sturgess [Samuel D. Sturgis] says he is a superior organizing officer. If it is lawful (of which I know not) I am disposed to appoint him. Will the Adjutant General please look into the case & report to me? [Signed] A. Lincoln."
Below Lincoln's endorsement is another endorsement signed by Adjutant General Lorenzo Thomas also dated July 19 stating that the Senate had placed limits on the numbers of officers the president could appoint: "The Senate confirmed the full number which, under the proviso attached to Sec. 1 of the Act of July 5/62, the President is authorized to appoint. There is consequently no vacancy. Respectfully submitted [Signed] L. Thomas." (An act of the 37th Congress approved on July 5, 1862, limited the number of major generals the president could appoint to forty and brigadier generals to 200.)
In response to this, President Lincoln writes his second endorsement dated July 24, 1862, "Major Prince now would now [sic] like to have the first vacancy. [Signed] A.L." However, Massachusetts' native William Edgar Prince continued his service as a major in the 3rd Infantry until brevetted a lieutenant colonel in 1865. This letter is framed to an overall size of 24.25" x 18.25". It exhibits minor stains and smoothed folds; a few penciled notations in margin of page four.
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