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Edwin M Stanton facts

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Stanton was only the second non-president, after Benjamin Franklin, to appear on a U.S. postage stamp.

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In March 1862, Stanton appointed the fifty-seven-year old Charles Ellet as colonel of engineers in the Union Army and authorized him to build a fleet of ram ships that eventually helped the Union take control of the Mississippi River.

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  1. Much of Stanton's efforts during the war focused on modernizing the country's infrastructure by updating and expanding the rail and telegraph lines.

  2. Early in the war, Stanton ordered the cancellation of all military contracts with foreign powers, which helped bolster the wartime industrial output of the north.

  3. On February 14, 1862, President Lincoln transferred enforcement of internal security to the War Department, which Stanton responded to by releasing political prisoners contingent upon taking an oath of loyalty to the United States.

  4. Stanton practiced law in Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania before moving to Washington, D.C. in the 1850s.

  5. Stanton served as President Andrew Johnson's Secretary of War until 1867, but often clashed with the president over his lenient treatment of Confederate officers.

  6. Stanton was sworn in as Attorney General in President James Buchanan's cabinet on December 20, 1860.

  7. President Lincoln nominated Stanton as Secretary of War on January 13, 1862, which was confirmed by the Senate two days later.

  8. He was nominated to the Supreme Court and confirmed by the Senate in December 1869, but died only days later.

  9. Stanton died on December 24, 1869 at the age of fifty-five due to complications from chronic asthma.

  10. A staunch advocate of Jacksonian democracy, Stanton was a Democrat early in his life but switched to Republican during the Civil War.

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In 1859, Stanton defended U.S. congressman Daniel Sickles in a high-profile murder case. Although Sickles killed a man in broad daylight in front of several witnesses, Stanton successfully argued that the was not-guilty because he was protecting his honor due to his wife's adulterous transgressions.

Stanton worked as both a defense attorney and prosecutor during his legal career, being elected as the prosecutor for Harrison County, Ohio in 1837.

Stanton had a small frame and was a severe asthmatic, which prevented him from taking part in sports or pursuing a military career.

U.S. Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton promised a Medal of Honor to every man in the 27th Maine Volunteer Infantry Regiment who extended his enlistment in the Civil War. 311 accepted but the War Department eventually issued 864 - one for each man in the unit.

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