LINCOLN, Abraham. Autograph letter signed ("A. Lincoln") as President, to the Adjutant General, U.S. Army [General Lorenzo Thomas (1805-1875)], with autograph endorsement signed by Secretary of War Simon Cameron (1799-1889). Executive Mansion [Washington, D.C.], 17 January 1862. 1 page, 8vo, slightly browned.
LINCOLN PROMOTES ABNER DOUBLEDAY, THE OFFICER WHO FIRED THE FIRST GUN IN DEFENSE OF FORT SUMTER
Abner Doubleday (1819-1893), from a distinguished New York family, is credited with organizing and naming the game of baseball in 1835. A graduate of West Point's class of 1842, he had served in the Seminole and the Mexican Wars. As Captain and second-in-command at Fort Sumter at the outbreak of hostilities, he chafed under the cautious, formal methods of his commander, Major Robert Anderson, but had the signal distinction of personally firing the first cannon in defense of the Union stronghold after Confederates batteries began to shell the fort early in the morning hours of April 12, 1861.
Here, addressing Adjutant General Thomas as "My dear Sir," Lincoln writes: "Let Major Abner Doubleday, of the regular Army, be a Brigadier General of Volunteers. Yours truly A Lincoln." Beneath, in his rather scrawling hand, Secretary of War Cameron endorses Lincoln's request: "Let it be done. Simon Cameron."
On 3 February, Doubleday was duly named a Brigadier General, and served in the Shenandoah Valley, at Second Manasses, and later commanded a division at South Mountain, Antietam and Fredericksburg. Promoted to Major General in November 1862, he subsequently commanded John Reynolds's I Corps after Reynolds was killed in the first day's battle at Gettysburg.
This is the first example we have encountered of a Lincoln letter bearing a Cameron endorsement on the same page. Not in Basler or Supplements and presumably unpublished.