Andrew Johnson Presidential Stamped Commissions for Lemuel B. Norton, Incl. Major by Brevet for Service as Chief Signal Officer
Lot of 12, including 4 partially printed documents stamped: Andrew Johnson (1808-1875). 1p, 19.5 x 15.75 in., on vellum, with embossed seal, affixed upper left. Washington, May 10, 1866. Appointment of Lemuel B. Norton as Captain by brevet for gallant and meritorious services. Stamped by Johnson as President (1865-1869), and Edwin M. Stanton (1814-1869), as Secretary of War (1862-1868).
1p, 19.75 x 15.75 in., on vellum, with embossed seal, affixed upper left. Washington, March 7, 1867. Appointment of Norton as Second Lieutenant in 30th Regiment. Stamped by Johnson as President and Stanton as Secretary of War. With two letters of transmission related to this appointment issued by the War Dept., signed by Ast. Adj. Gen. J.C. Kelton.
1p, 19.75 x 15.75 in., on vellum, with embossed seal, affixed upper left. Washington, June 22, 1868. Appointment of Norton as Captain by brevet for gallant and meritorious services during the war. Stamped by Johnson as President and J.M. Schofield (1831-1906), as Secretary of War (1868-1869).
1p, 19.5 x 15.75 in., on vellum, with embossed seal, affixed upper left. Washington, July 28, 1868. Appointment of Norton as Major by brevet for meritorious services in the Signal Corps during the war, especially while Chief Signal Officer of the Army of the Potomac, Department of Virginia and North Carolina, and Department of the Susquehanna. Stamped by Johnson as President and Schofield as Secretary of War. With letter of transmission related to this appointment signed by Ast. Adj. Gen. J.C. Kelton.
Additional War Dept. correspondence includes printed Special Orders No. 233, May 7, 1867, issued by Ast. Adj. Gen. E.D. Townsend; manuscript Special Orders No. 226(?), May 12, 1867, signed by Townsend; letter of transmission regarding Norton's commission of 1st lieut. by brevet, dated June 23, 1868, signed by Ast. Adj. Gen. Kelton; and letter informing Norton of his promotion to 1st lieut. of the 30th Regiment U.S. Infantry, dated Sept. 29, 1869, signed by Secretary of War, John Schofield.
Lemuel B. Norton, Chief Signal Officer for the Army of the Potomac at Gettysburg
Warren County, PA native Lemuel B. Norton (1839-1871) enlisted on June 22, 1861 at the age of 21 as a 1st lieut. and was commissioned into Co. A of the 10th Infantry Regiment of the Pennsylvania State Guard and was later promoted to captain, but left that position when appointed by President Abraham Lincoln to the rank of captain in the Army of Potomac Signal Corps, a military organization pioneered by Maj. Albert J. Meyer. The new group utilized communication tactics and information as a weapon.
Norton served as Chief Signal Officer at the Battle of Gettysburg. He established a complicated line of men at important vantage points near Cemetery Hill, Powers Hill, Culp’s Hill and Little Round Top. He used them to communicate with other generals the positions and movements of enemy troops. His group on Little Round Top forced Longstreet to detour the approach march to his attack on July 2nd. Longstreet rerouted his march to a more concealed route, but failed. The Signal Corps warned Meade of their approach and reinforcements charged toward the flank that narrowly fought off the Confederates. In addition to his men, he had field telegraph trains he chose not to deploy.
Norton was recognized for "Gallant and Meritorious Service" in the Battle of Gettysburg, for "Meritorious Service" in the Signal Corps during the war, and for "Meritorious Service" in the Campaign against Richmond, VA. He continued his service after the war and ended his military career as a major in July 1867. Norton died in Philadelphia, PA, in December 1871 of pulmonary tuberculosis as a result of military exposure.
The papers, commissions, and personal effects offered here were previously passed down through members of Norton's family, and were sold in 1997 to a private collector.
Typical folds in commissions, light corner and edge wear, including few slight chips near folds. Few smudges in stamped signatures.