ABRAHAM LINCOLN SIGNED DOCUMENT PROMOTING FUTURE GENERAL WILLIAM HAYS JUST A
FEW MONTHS AFTER BEING WOUNDED AND TAKEN PRISONER AT CHANCELLORSVILLE AND ALSO SIGNED BY
GENERAL EDWARD D. TOWNSEND AND SECRETARY OF WAR EDWIN STANTON, AUGUST 1, 1863.
ABRAHAM LINCOLN HAND-SIGNED DOCUMENT WITH FULL SIGNATURE, "Abraham Lincoln", 15.75 x 19.5, August 1, 1863, promoting future General William Hays just after being wounded and taken prisoner at the battle of Chancellorsville and also signed by General Edward D. Townsend, "E. D. Townsend" and Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, "E. M. Stanton”. An amazing collection of four United States Civil War figures: the President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, two Civil War generals, and the Secretary of War, all on the same document. All three signatures are in dark ink. In fine condition with the embossed seal still intact, with minor wrinkling, a crease touching bottom of first letters of "Abraham", and light age toning. This would make an impressive framed ensemble.
General William Hays (1819 – 1875) was a career officer in the United States Army, serving as a Union Army general during the American Civil War. West Point graduate; primarily an Artillery Officer, he led the 2nd Corps after Hancock’s wound at Gettysburg.
As a lieutenant colonel, Hays commanded a brigade of horse artillery under Henry Hunt in 1861–62 in the Army of the Potomac, serving with distinction at the Battle of Seven Pines during the Peninsula Campaign. He participated in the Battle of Antietam, where he commanded the V Corps Reserve Artillery. His batteries were stationed on the heights east of Antietam Creek, providing long range fire against Confederate infantry positions between the East and West Woods. He commanded the artillery of the Right Grand Division at Fredericksburg. Hays was appointed brigadier general of volunteers in November 1862 and assigned command of an infantry brigade in Maj. Gen. William H. French’s division in the II Corps. He was wounded and taken prisoner at Chancellorsville on May 3, 1863, along with all but one of his immediate staff.
Hays was exchanged on May 15, 1863, and sent to Fort Monroe in Virginia. Although without an official command, he rejoined the Army of the Potomac and accompanied it to Gettysburg, PA. During Pickett’s Charge on July 3, Maj. Gen. Winfield S. Hancock was severely wounded but refused to leave the field until the battle had been decided. When it became clear the Confederate charge had been defeated Hancock relinquished command temporarily to his 1st Division commander, Brig. Gen. John C. Caldwell. Later that evening, Hays (although still a brigadier general and junior in rank to Caldwell), was assigned to command the II Corps. He led the corps throughout the summer and was also promoted to major in the regular army as evidenced by this document signed by President Abraham Lincoln, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, and Assistant Adjutant General Edward D. Townsend.
At the expiration of his term in February 1865, Hays rejoined the Army of the Potomac at Petersburg and served again in the II Corps, this time commanding the 2nd Division. He was appointed a brevet brigadier general in the regular army on March 13, 1865, for gallant conduct. He was buried in Yonkers, NY, but was re-interred at West Point Cemetery in 1894.
Edwin McMasters Stanton (1814-69) was an American lawyer and politician who served as Secretary of War under the Lincoln Administration during most of the American Civil War. Stanton's management helped organize the massive military resources of the North and guide the Union to victory.
AN AMAZING DOCUMENT THAT BRINGS TOGETHER FOUR OF THE MAJOR FIGURES OF THE AMERICAN CIVIL WAR TOGETHER ON ONE ITEM!