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PRESIDENT WOODROW WILSON - MILITARY APPOINTMENT SIGNED 02/13/1916 CO-SIGNED BY: MAJOR GENERAL HUGH LENOX SCOTT - HFSID 293676

WOODROW WILSON Three days after his Secretary and Assistant Secretary of War resigned in protest against Wilson's reluctance to prepare the US for War, the President signs the commission of a lieutenant in the Coast Artillery, co-signed by Army Chief of Staff Hugh L. Scott at the beginning of his 1-month tenure as Secretary Ad Interim.

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WOODROW WILSON
Three days after his Secretary and Assistant Secretary of War resigned in protest against Wilson's reluctance to prepare the US for War, the President signs the commission of a lieutenant in the Coast Artillery, co-signed by Army Chief of Staff Hugh L. Scott at the beginning of his 1-month tenure as Secretary Ad Interim.
Military Appointment signed: "Woodrow Wilson" as President, "H. L. Scott" as Secretary of War Ad-Interim, 1 vellum page, 15½x19½. Washington, D.C., 1916 February 13. Appointment of Meade Wildrick as a First Lieutenant in the Coast Artillery Corps. As the Governor of New Jersey and the scholarly author of treatises on the US political process, beginning with Congressional Government (1885), WOODROW WILSON (1856-1924) reached the White House in 1913 well equipped to deal with domestic policy issues. His first term saw the establishment of the Federal Reserve and the Federal Trade Commission, and legislation against child labor. Wilson had little background in foreign policy, however, and was soon tested by the outbreak of World War I in Europe (August 1914). Seeking to remain neutral while brokering a peaceful settlement, Wilson was viewed by some as a naïve idealist who should have been doing more to prepare the US for likely entry into the war. On February 10, 1916, Secretary of War Lindley M. Garrison and Assistant Secretary Breckinridge resigned in protest, having failed to persuade the President to support a more rapid military buildup, including a full-time reserve army. Lindley's resignation letter informed that President that "we hopelessly disagree upon what I conceive to be fundamental principles." (Ironically, 3-time Democratic Presidential candidate and Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan had the previous year for the opposite reason, considering Wilson's policies too bellicose!) In the one-month interval between the resignation of Garrison and Breckinridge, and the confirmation of a new War Secretary, Newton Baker, Army Chief of Staff HUGH L. SCOTT (1853-1954) served as Secretary of War Ad Interim. Scott, a veteran cavalry officer expert on fighting and negotiating with the Indians on the Great Plains, was Commandant of West Point before becoming Army Chief of Staff (1914-1917). Wilson was re-elected in November 1916 on the slogan "He kept us out of war," but five months later, in response to Germany's declaration of unrestricted submarine warfare, he asked Congress for a Declaration of War. Meanwhile, Scott had been working quietly for measures which went even further than those advocated by Garrison: military conscription! It would be for the war and its aftermath, his Fourteen Points and advocacy of a League of Nations (which the US Senate refused to join), that Wilson is primarily remembered today. In 1907, the US Army split its artillery into two divisions, the field artillery and the coastal artillery. The Coast Artillery survived as a separate Corps until 1950. Heavily creased. Random scattered ink marks at left edge (not effecting signature). Edges worn. Multiple notches at top edge. Otherwise, fine condition.

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