A CIVIL WAR DOCUMENT SIGNED BY THE FUTURE PRESIDENT
WILLIAM McKINLEY. Partly Printed Document Signed twice, no place [Virginia], 31 October 1864. 1 page, 17" x 11".
A scarce Civil War-date document signed by William McKinley, the future President, as a Captain in the Union Army. At the start of the Civil War, the eighteen-year-old McKinley joined the 23rd Ohio Infantry, which was commanded by another future President, Rutherford B. Hayes. He served creditably throughout the conflict and was eventually promoted to second lieutenant.
This document is a voucher for funds due to McKinley for the months of September and October 1864 for his pay, the pay of a servant, and their food and clothing costs. The servant is identified only as Richard, and he is described as of black complexion, with black eyes and hair. McKinley has signed the document once at the middle right certifying that he is “on detached service by authority of Special Order No. 27 dated July 29th 1864 Headquarters of Forces in the Field Dept. West Va.” He has signed again at the lower right certifying that the account is accurate and that he received the amount due from an Army Paymaster on 31 October 1864. Both times, he has signed, “Wm McKinley Jr Capt 23d Ohio Vols & A.A.A.Genl,” that is, as Captain of the 23rd Ohio Volunteers and Acting Assistant Adjutant General.
Although the place is not specified, it is known from other documents that McKinley was in the vicinity of Cedar Creek, Virginia, at this date.
The document has some slight marginal defects, but is in very good condition overall.
McKinley’s autograph is very scarce of Civil War date. $1500.00
The complete document is shown above;
below is a close-up of one of the two McKinley signatures on the document
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