LINCOLN, Abraham (1809-1865). Autograph endorsement signed as President (“A. Lincoln”), 24 February 1863.
1 page, 4to, 249 x 192 mm. Accomplished on verso of Lt. Col. John Aaron Rawlins manuscript endorsement signed, written in a secretarial hand, Young's Point, Louisiana, 10 February 1863. Accomplished beneath General William Vandever autograph endorsement signed, House of Representatives, 23 February 1863.
LINCOLN GRANTS IOWA REPRESENTATIVE WILLIAM VANDEVER A LEAVE OF ABSENCE: "Let this leave of ab-sence be extended twenty additional days. A. Lincoln February 24, 1863."
Lieutenant Colonel and Assistant Adjutant General John Aaron Rawlins (1831-1869) signs an order granting Brigadier General William Vandever (1817-1893) a 20-day leave of absence on 10 February. Writing from Washington D. C. nearly two weeks later on the verso, Vandever submits a request to Secretary of War Stanton: "I respectfully ask an extension of the within leave for twenty days - I find it important to remain a short time in this city as my official term as a member of the House is about to expire."
Although Vandever's official congressional biography notes that he served in Congress until 24 September 1861 (early in his second term), he never officially resigned his seat when he mustered into the U. S. Army. In May 1862, George H. Browne, Congressman from Rhode Island, challenged the constitutionality of Vandever holding a military commission and commanding a regiment while remaining a member of Congress. Consideration by the House was deferred until December 1862. On March 4, 1863, the day after Vandever's second House term ended, the Senate approved his appointment as a Brigadier General.