January 13, 1899. Wonderful, rare archive of multiple items including Manuscript on parchment and associated Ephemera led by a document SIGNED by president "William McKinley" and COUNTERSIGNED by the Secretary of War "R.A. Alger", and RECORDED by "H. C. Corbin" Adjutant General. 15.5" x 19.25" document engraved, printed and then completed with handsomely scribed calligraphic details. War Office seal in brilliant deep blue affixed to the lower left in fine condition. Only two folds through the middle with some light rippling along one edge, now flattened and not detracting from the front of this document which would proudly hang framed. Several dark spots on the rear of the document barely visible on the front. The document is engraved with vignettes at both top and bottom. Fine item with three firm signatures.
William McKinley (January 29, 1843 – September 14, 1901) was the 25th President of the United States from 1897 until his assassination in September 1901. Russell Alexander Alger (February 27, 1836 – January 24, 1907) was the 20th Governor and U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan before becoming the Secretary of War during McKinley's administration. Promoted to Major General in 1900 and Lieutenant General in 1909, Major General Henry C. Corbin served as Adjutant General of the U.S. Army from 1898-1904.
This document serves as the appointment of William M. Wherry (1836 - 1919) to "Brigadier General in the service of the United States: to rank as such from the seventh day of January, eighteen hundred and ninety-nine." He brevetted to Major General of Volunteers by President Andrew Johnson with a ranking date of June 11, 1865. As a First Lieutenant, Company D, 3rd U.S. Reserve Missouri Infantry he received the Medal of Honor for actions at the Battle of Wilson's Creek on August 10. 1861. the citation was issued on October 30, 1895: "Displayed conspicuous coolness and heroics in rallying troops that were recoiling under heavy fire." At the onset of the Spanish American War, Wherry took command of the 2nd Infantry when regimental commander Col. Bates was promoted. He commanded the regiment until he was promoted to colonel of the 8th Infantry on August 30, 1898.
Also included with this collection: (1) William M. Wherry's embroidered in gold 4" x 1.5" Brigadier General's epaulette with one silver star centered. (2) Partly Printed Letter Signed "Theo Schwan" as Assistant Adjutant General, 1 page, 8" x 10.5". Washington, January 9, 1899. To Brig. Gen. Wherry transmitting the Commission here offered. Theodore Schwan (1841-1926) was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions at the Battle of Peebles' Farm, Virginia, October 1, 1864: "At the imminent risk of his own life, while his regiment was falling back before a superior force of the enemy, he dragged a wounded and helpless officer to the rear, thus saving him from death or capture." Schwan received the award on December 12, 1898, just four weeks before signing this letter. (3) Marked "Copy," a Manuscript Letter from Franklin J. Dickman, 3 pages, 7.75" x 9.75", to President McKinley, Cleveland Ohio, December 27, 1898, urging that William M. Wherry (his daughter married Dickman's son) "may be retired at an early day as Brigadier General, and thus receive in his retirement the pay of a Colonel" With soiled envelope. Wherry retired on January 18, 1899. (4) Cabinet Photograph of William M. Wherry in uniform, 3.75" x 5.5" image, overall 7" x 9". Photograph by "Ciarlo," "514 York St. / Newport, Ky." Slight chip at upper edge of image; glued mounting remnant at lower edge of mount (attribution noted). Item #199
"And I do strictly charge and require all Officers and Soldiers under his command to be obedient to his orders as Brigadier General. And he is to observe and follow such orders and directions from time to time as he shall receive from me or the future President of the United States of America or the General or other superior Officers set over him according to the rules and discipline of War." - William McKinley.