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In the first months of war, War Secretary informs soldier of his appointment by President Lincoln.
Partly Printed LS: "Simon Cameron" as Lincoln's Secretary of War, 1p, 8x10. War Department, Washington, 1861 September 19. To Henry W. Smith. In full: "You are hereby informed that the President of the United States has appointed you Assistant Adjutant General of Volunteers with the rank of Captain, in the service of the United States, to rank as such from the nineteenth day of September, one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one. Should the Senate, at their next session, advise and consent thereto, you will be commissioned accordingly. Immediately upon receipt hereof, please to communicate to this Department, through the Adjutant General's Office, your acceptance or non-acceptance of said appointment; and, with your letter of acceptance, return to the Adjutant General of the Army the oath herewith enclosed, properly filled up, subscribed and attested, reporting at the same time your age, residence when appointed, and the state in which you were born. Should you accept, you will at once report, by letter, for orders, to the General-in-Chief." Four months after signing this letter, Cameron resigned and was appointed Minister to Russia by President Lincoln. Cameron became Secretary of War in a political bargain at the 1860 Republican National Convention at which his political supporters convinced Lincoln's campaign managers to give him a Cabinet post in return for the votes of Pennsylvania delegates. After his appointment, Cameron dispensed a raft of civil and military appointments and army contracts, and charges of corruption ran rampant. In 1862, in an effort to be rid of him, Lincoln gave him the diplomatic post and appointed Edwin M. Stanton as Secretary of War. Five months before this document (April 12, 1861), Confederate batteries in Charleston harbor had opened fire on Fort Sumter, beginning the American Civil War. Lightly creased, ½-inch vertical tear at lower center blank edge. 1-inch separations at upper and lower horizontal folds at blank right margin. Overall, fine condition.

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Born: March 8, 1799 in Maytown, Pennsylvania
Died: June 26, 1889 in Maytown, Pennsylvania

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