Civil War-dated partly-printed vellum DS as president, one page, 14 x 17.5, March 13, 1863. Lincoln promotes D. D. Wager to the rank of “Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers with the rank of Captain.” Signed at the conclusion by Lincoln, and countersigned by Secretary of War Edwin Stanton. Double-matted and framed with a biographical plaque to an overall size of 22.75 x 30.75. In very good condition, with intersecting folds, mild overall toning, expected moderate wrinkling, and all handwriting and signatures a few shades light, but still completely legible. The white wafer seal remains intact.
At the time Lincoln endorsed this promotion, the war was going poorly for Union forces. Ten days earlier, the president had signed legislation enacting a draft to bolster troop numbers, and just three days before had issued an order of amnesty for men who were absent without leave in another effort to strengthen the fighting force. Perhaps to take his mind off the bloody conflict, on the very date of this promotion, Lincoln attended a performance of King Henry IV at Washington Theatre. Ironically, the play opens with a discussion of the civil war in England, with Act V involving a pardon to all of the rebels. One wonders what message our sixteenth president took away from that evening’s performance.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.