President Abraham Lincoln Appoints a Surgeon Who Served Throughout the Civil War

A very uncommon medical appointment signed by Lincoln, with the appointee finishing the war as a brevet major

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Dr. Henry T. Legler came to the United States from Germany after participating in the failed democratic uprising there in 1848. He initially served as a surgeon with the 8th New York Volunteers, a regiment composed mainly of native Germans. That unit participated in the pursuit of Gen. Thomas J. Jackson in...

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President Abraham Lincoln Appoints a Surgeon Who Served Throughout the Civil War

A very uncommon medical appointment signed by Lincoln, with the appointee finishing the war as a brevet major

Dr. Henry T. Legler came to the United States from Germany after participating in the failed democratic uprising there in 1848. He initially served as a surgeon with the 8th New York Volunteers, a regiment composed mainly of native Germans. That unit participated in the pursuit of Gen. Thomas J. Jackson in the Shenandoah Valley, and as part of Gen. Louis Blenker’s division fought at the battles of Cross Keys and New Market. In the battle of Cross Keys its killed, wounded and missing numbered 220 out of a total of 550 engaged. Afterwards Legler left that regiment, and in 1863 was appointed a surgeon in another New York regiment, a post he held for the rest of the war. He resigned in 1866 as a brevet major of volunteers. Legler came to Oakland, CA in 1875 and acquired a large practice in his profession. His prominence in the medical world procured for him in 1881 the appointment as county physician in charge of the receiving hospital. He died aged 88, one of the oldest practicing physicians in the state.

Document signed, as President, Washington, July 1, 1864, naming Legler Assistant Surgeon of Volunteers, effective March 27, 1863. The document is countersigned by Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton.

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