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    Future commander of Buffalo Soldiers is promoted by Abraham Lincoln

    Abraham Lincoln Military Appointment Signed and countersigned by Secretary of War Simon Cameron. One vellum page partly printed, 15.75" x 19.25", September 9, 1861, "City of Washington", with handsome engraved military and patriotic vignettes. The document appoints James S. Brisbin "Second Lieutenant in the first Regiment of Dragoons in the service of the United States." Prior to the Civil War, James S. Brisbin (1837-1892) of Pennsylvania worked as a lawyer and publicly spoke-out against slavery. When the Civil War began, he enlisted as a private and was quickly promoted to second lieutenant. He fought at the First Battle of Bull Run (wounded twice), the Peninsular Campaign, and the Red River Expedition. During the war, he also helped organize various Negro cavalry regiments and was promoted to colonel of the 5th U.S. Colored Cavalry. Following the Civil War, Brisbin, a tireless worker for racial equality, helped establish the Freedmen's Bureau. His military service continued in 1866 with a transfer to the 9th U.S. Colored Cavalry Regiment, one of two of the earliest segregated cavalry regiments whose troops were designated Buffalo soldiers, a moniker given by American Indians to the all-black army regiments in the mid- to late-1800s. Buffalo soldiers, who mainly served in the west against Indians, were commanded by white officers like Brisbin. Darker toning and light wrinkling along lower edge of this important presidential appointment. With folds and a cyan Department of War seal in top left. Near fine condition. Included are printed images of Brisbin and Lincoln.

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    Auction Dates
    October, 2009
    16th-17th Friday-Saturday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 11
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
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    We had a wonderful time in New York during the October 2013 Historical Manuscripts auction that featured my mother’s papers collected during her tenure as Martin Luther King, Jr.’s secretary. In fact, the entire experience from beginning to end has been a pleasure.
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